Soda machines in Conover might feel neglected during January, or at least that's what the city's mayor hopes.
Conover is participating in an initiative to elminate soda and encourage healthy hydration in North and South Carolina. Conover Mayor Lee Moritz Jr., city officials and staff committed to 30 days of no soda. Instead of fizzy drinks, participants drink at least 60 ounces of water a day to remain hydrated.
The Mayor's Challenge is part of NoFizzCLT, a nonprofit organization designed to educate the public about the dangers of drinking too much soda and not enough water.
Moritz signed a proclamation Jan. 4 declaring the city's participation in the challenge at the Conover City Council meeting.
The proclamation encourages Conover residents to "give up soda, limit consumption of processed foods and choose alternatives like fruits, vegetables and water."
The city also invited its schools to participate in the challenge. To help residents in the transition to drink more water, Conover will update its website daily to include tips, facts and other information about the challenge and its health effects.
"Kids who are out playing aren't getting the benefits from soft drinks," said Conover City Council member Penny Corpening. "We have to educate the parents, so they can educate the children."
Corpening said NoFizzCLT is a way for city leaders to set an example for residents and their children.
Corpening isn't a soda drinker; she stays hydrated with water. She said she used to drink soda regularly when she was younger, but since she decided to drink mostly water, she noticed several health benefits after her switch.
She said her skin feels healthier and her body feels more hydrated.
"You don't sit around and let your kids eat candy all day, but no one thinks of drinking soda all day like eating a bowl of candy," Corpening said.
Some sodas contain as much sugar as candy.
"We know that healthy eating and drinking is about a total diet, and we're not trying to say fizz drinks are harmful, but let's encourage each other to limit use and drink more water," Moritz said.
Moritz encouraged everyone to participate in the challenge and experience the health benefits of drinking more water and drinking fewer sodas.
“We’re proud to have Mayor Moritz and the entire town staff of Conover participating in our January outreach challenge,” said Kate Kincaid, NoFizzCLT development director. “It is important for us to spread our message of proper health and hydration throughout North Carolina, and we are appreciative that Mayor Moritz and the staff of Conover have joined us for January.”
Moritz joined more than 300 mayors in North and South Carolina who are participating in the January challenge. The mayors join more than 5,000 other people who completed the project in 24 states and
“We’re honored to hear how the city staff of Conover has taken to our initiative so quickly and strongly,” said NoFizzCLT founder and executive director Bobby DeMuro. "Their participation and support is crucial as we stress the importance of healthy hydration in communities across the Carolinas."
According to several different studies posted on the NoFizzCLT website, overconsumption of soda can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and cardiovascular calcification.
In turn, these studies say keeping bodies hydrated with water improves digestion, increases energy and flushes away toxins.
For more information about the NoFizz project, visit www.nofizzclt.org .