Looking Towards a Healthier Future!

DPS Portfolio of ProductsI’ve been on a major overhaul of my health and if you haven’t done the same, I beg of you to start.  It’s sad that it took my mother-in-law being diagnosed with cancer for my family to completely overhaul our lifestyle. Yes, that’s right, my heart problem and my penchant for passing out randomly didn’t kick us into gear, neither did my boys allergies.  We always found fast food work arounds and would make small changes here and there, but nothing significant and sadly nothing that stuck.  It’s a huge wake-up call to be diagnosed with cancer, a disease by definition that has no predictability.  Once you start the health kick, it really can get addictive and all-consuming.  My family has gone from frequently eating take-out to home cooked meals with organic meats and sauces made from scratch. It’s mind-blowing to many of my friends who knew I hadn’t actually used my kitchen in over a decade being spoiled by my mother-in-law’s cooking, to know I was actually planning and making healthy meals for my family now.  I admit, it’s still a hit or miss with my family. Tonight was a raving success.  I managed to appeal to everyone’s tastebuds and prepare a meal that was completely allergen-free that everyone finished! Yay to me!

It isn’t just me that’s making these healthier lifestyle choices and brands are noticing!  Not only are they noticing but they are changing their products to reflect the change. Recently I got a chance to speak with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and talk to them about how DPS has embraced its role to give people the choices and information they need to achieve balance in their lives. Pretty much my mantra, I work out to eat, I was thrilled to learn that the Dr Pepper Snapple Group believes that healthy lives depend on balance, balancing the calories you consume through food & beverages with the calories you burn through physical activity. 

IMG_0507It’s no surprise that obesity has become a huge problem in our country and DPS took full-calorie beverages out of schools voluntarily through the School Beverage Guidelines, which have reduced the calories in beverage shipments to schools by more than 90%.  They also have put calorie counts on the fronts of all beverage containers in the Clear on Calories initiative.  DPS also set a goal in 2014 to reduce the calories consumed in beverages by 20% over the next 10 years by focusing on smaller package sizes; innovation, marketing and distribution of low-and no-calorie beverages; calorie information on 3 million vending machines, fountain valves and pieces and cold drink equipment; and consumer education as part of the Balance Calories initiative with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Beverage Association. DPS also launched Mixify, a multi-year national consumer awareness and engagement program, educating teens about the importance of balancing what they drink and eat with what they do.

Volunteers help load sports equipment donations  Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Houston. More than $50,000 in sports equipment was donated to various Houston-area schools and youth programs through Let's Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to encourage kids and families to get active, and partner organization Good Sports. (Photo by Eric Kayne/Invision for Dr Pepper Snapple Group/AP Images)
Volunteers help load sports equipment donations Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Houston. More than $50,000 in sports equipment was donated to various Houston-area schools and youth programs through Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to encourage kids and families to get active, and partner organization Good Sports. (Photo by Eric Kayne/Invision for Dr Pepper Snapple Group/AP Images)

Awareness and education play a key role in DPS’s efforts by providing people with the information they need to make informed choices. DPS is doing that as a company through its website, dpsgproductfacts.com, where you can get an in-depth look at the nutrition content of all of its major products.  I think I almost cried when I spotted this: dpsgproductfacts.com/en/allergens, a detailed listing of allergens and sensitivities and the beverages that include them.

One of the toughest changes my family and I made was a huge cut back on our soda consumption.  We use to buy 7-up, Sunkist and Canada Dry by the case loads whenever there was a sale. Too many empty sugary calories that I couldn’t justify and felt guilty my children were consuming so much of it at such young ages.  I found out that 7UP, Sunkist, and Canada Dry now come in 10 calorie cans that taste just like regular soda, giving us our bubbly craving without the guilt!

To further balance the Calories In with the Calories Out, DPS committed themselves to Active Play.  The world we live in now is so different than the one we grew up in.

  • Only 20% of children live near a park
  • Two-thirds of kids get less than an hour of play a day
  • Kids are increasingly time-crunched, with 12 fewer hours of free time per week
  • Disadvantaged inner city youth participate 40% less in sports and fitness
  • Recreational time is increasingly spent on devices
    • Kids 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day on media
  • The consequences of these realities, along with poor eating and drinking habits, is that obesity rates have tripled in 6- to 11-year-olds

DPSG Let's Play LogoDPS launched the Let’s Play initiative in 2011 to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority and has committed more than $28 million through Let’s Play working with two great nonprofit organizations – KaBOOM! and Good Sports.

  • KaBOOM!: In partnership with KaBOOM!, DPS is providing the PLACES for younger kids to play with grants to fund playground improvements and funds and volunteer muscle to build new playgrounds from the ground up in communities across the country.
  • Good Sports: In partnership with Good Sports, DPS is providing the TOOLS through sports equipment grants that benefit underfunded youth serving organizations that help provide opportunities for structured team sports. DPS partnered with Good Sports to expand efforts to include older children who lack the opportunity to participate in organized sports due to the cost of equipment, uniforms and entry fees.
  • And DPS is providing the INSPIRATION through com, which provides:

I’m appreciating all that the Dr Pepper Snapple Group is doing to give me information I need and improve my choices for a healthier lifestyle for my family through its commitment to R&D, new packaging and the Let’s Play initiative.

{ disclosure:  This is a sponsored post by The Motherhood and Dr Pepper Snapple Group.  As always, all opinions expressed here are my very own. }