Water First! Initiative

Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks and energy drinks, are the most common source of added sugar in children’s diets. Frequent consumption of added sugar is associated with obesity. Because more than 45% of Native children ages two to five years old are obese, reducing their consumption of sugary beverages is critical. Seeds of Native Health provided $250,000 to the Notah Begay III Foundation to address this issue. The funding helped expand the foundation’s Water First! campaign – an initiative to reduce Native children’s consumption of sugary beverages and increase their access to and intake of safe drinking water.

The funding helped the foundation:

  • Provide micro-grants to tribes and Native-led organizations in Minnesota and Washington.
  • Expand its Zero to 60 Challenge, an activity that encourages kids to switch sugar-sweetened beverages with water.
  • Host two Healthy Beverage Summits in fall 2018 and 2019.
  • Develop informational resources for tribes, schools, and community organizations.