Turning the tide away from soda in Indian Country

Posted on Feb 21, 2017 | Indian Country Today by Kim Baca

In many Southwest Native languages, there are no words for soda or its popular brands. Yet the drink has been absorbed in many traditions, often served during Pueblo feasts, community give-aways or other ceremonial events, often replacing more nutritious drinks, including water.

“Water is sacred – why don’t we drink it?” asked Andrea Pepin, Zuni Youth Enrichment Project nutrition education coordinator, during the Notah Begay III Foundation’s first Healthy Beverage Summit on February 8 tackling the issue of the high intake of sugary drinks among Native youth.

Pepin said that it was colonization that likely has made so many Native Americans think of soda as the go-to beverage. “It’s time to decolonize your drink,” she said, quoting another colleague.

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