July 21, 2008

Native Alaskans vs. soda pop

Villagers can't kick soda pop habit

NATIVE HEALTH:  A gallon of milk can cost $9, and fresh water is a rarity.Years ago Alaska Native health officials declared war on sugary soda pop in rural towns and villages.

Pop is winning.

Nearly one-third of toddlers in rural Northern and Southwest Alaska have two or more cups of sugary drinks, such as regular soda, on an average day, according to a 2006 state Health Department survey.

That's true for only 3 percent of toddlers in the rest of the state. An earlier state poll showed adults in rural Alaska drink about three times as much pop a day as adults in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
And:"Have you ever seen a (baby) bottle full of Coca-Cola? Black?" Nelson asked.

"It is not uncommon at all."

The Bethel lawmaker and mother of four had just paid $9.49 for a gallon of whole milk at a Bethel store.

Grocery prices are even higher in the small villages, she said.

Factor in runaway heating and fuel bills, and people in rural Alaska are thinking survival, not self-improvement.

"In a lot of cases it's more expensive to buy bottled water than a can of pop," Nelson said.
Comment:  These villages should drink diet soda the way I do.

Hmm...no milk or water at affordable prices. Sounds like another case in which taking responsibility doesn't solve the problem.

This situation sounds like a great opportunity for an Alaskan entrepreneur. Deliver milk, diet soda, and water at less than $9.49 a gallon and you'll clean up.

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