Water & Junk Drinks


Soda is big business and a big problem in our communities. Health studies and food mapping research show direct links between poverty, food access, the proliferation of junk food and junk drinks (including soda), and elevated rates of chronic and life-threatening diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

This year, the food and beverage industry will spend approximately $2 billion marketing to children. That’s a huge problem that’s made worse by the fact that 1 million Californians lack access to safe, clean drinking water.

And most of the Californians affected live in poor communities that lack grocery stores. Without safe drinking water, the nearest and most affordable beverage options are often sodas and other sugary junk drinks.

The California Endowment is committed to helping communities combat the insidious promotion of junk drinks to kids, many of whom reside in low-income neighborhoods with the least access to fresh, healthy foods and affordable alternatives to junk drinks.

Here’s how we’re supporting communities as they fight for safe, clean water, and fight back against soda and sugary drinks:

What We’re Doing:

  • Raising awareness about the harm of junk drinks to children’s health through advertising, direct marketing and in-school campaigns.
  • Raising awareness about the fact that 1 million Californians lack access to safe, clean drinking water through our #Agua4All campaign.
  • Encouraging all Californians to kick the junk drink habit.
  • Working with our partners to make fresh potable water available to all Californians in their schools and communities.
  • Educating children and young people about misleading advertising claims.
  • Elevating the voices of young people in the discussion about how to make healthy drink choices and water equality a reality in California.


Watch this video which highlights the progress of the #Agua4All campaign so far. More to come!



Watch the video below made by Will Haynes from our Richmond Building Healthy Communities site. The “Soda Sucks” contest challenged youth to create art that describes, well, how soda sucks.



Youth Activist Miguel takes his novia out to the University of California, Davis campus to help raise awareness about the health impacts of sugar loaded beverages but quickly has his plans deflated.

After this video was uploaded to social media platforms, Miguel and his novia received an invitation to the UC Davis campus to celebrate Picnic Day 2015! They enjoyed their time with the Aggies and look forward to returning back to the campus in the future.



in Neighborhoods