Presenter: Caree J. Cotwright, PhD, RDN, LD
Affiliation: University of Georgia
Webinar Description: One major contributor to excess weight gain is the high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Increasing access to water and other healthy beverages is one viable strategy to reduce excess weight gain. Nationally, in 2012, 26% of adults reported consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g., regular soda, fruit drinks, or both) ≥1 times daily. In 2014, consumption of SSBs at least once per day was highest among Black American adults aged 20-39 (77%), those of parenting age. Black youth have significantly higher total beverage consumption from soft drinks (30%) as compared with other children (as low as 9%). For all of these reasons, promoting healthy beverages throughout childhood and adolescence is a public health concern. This webinar aims to describe the national recommendations and resources for healthy beverage consumption among Black youth. Participants will: understand the effects on sugar-sweetened beverages on the health of Black youth, identify best practice recommendations to promote healthy beverages to Black youth, identify credible sources of information to promote healthy beverage consumption, and assess alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages to consume healthy beverages.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Caree J. Cotwright is an assistant professor in the UGA Department of Foods and Nutrition where her research is focused on early childhood obesity prevention. Her research agenda includes promoting wellness practices and policies in the early care and education (ECE) setting. The overall goal of her work is to create healthy ECE environments to prevent obesity in our youngest children ages (0-5), with an emphasis on decreasing health disparities affecting low-income and underserved populations. Dr. Cotwright has served as the Principal Investigator for two Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Healthy Eating Research grants centered on decreasing sugary beverage intake young children and families. She previously worked as a Research Fellow at the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. During this time she promoted, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Child Care initiative. Dr. Cotwright earned a PhD and MS in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia, is an esteemed graduate of Howard University, earning a BS in Biology, and is a registered and licensed dietitian.