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      State initiative aims to help community make healthy beverage choices

      As you sit down for dinner, you may want to rethink what you're drinking.

      Rethink Your Drink Month is now through mid February.

      The Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity has created the statewide initiative which aims at helping the community make healthier beverage choices.

      The program is asking schools, healthcare institutions and local government to host challenges within their community.

      The Adams County Health Department is partnering with them to educate the community on the options available to them.

      Emily Andrews is a member of Americorps with the health department, and says limiting sugary drinks is a great way to be refreshed and stay healthy.

      "You can choose water, diet or low sweetened beverages," Andrews said. "Carry a water bottle around throughout your day and refill it up constantly. You can serve water with meals. Some other ways to kind of refresh your water and make it more exciting, add slices of fruit like lemon, or lime and cucumber to your water."

      Jean Kinder is the Director of Food Services for the Quincy Public Schools, and she says while soda is available for students in high school, she recognizes the importance of providing healthy options for everyone.

      "Empty calories are empty calories, and when you put things in your body, you want them to be beneficial to you and not just empty," Kinder said. "I think that there's some real positives to it, but obviously when you first limit something or take something, it's a little scary, at first, but I think kids have transitioned pretty well."

      According to Jen Kamps, a Registered Dietitian, by replacing one can of soda a day with water, that could possibly equal a 15 pound decrease in weight a year.

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