New signs to mark walking path in terms of soda burn-off

So. That 20 oz. bottle of cola I threw back yesterday with lunch is apparently still with me in calorie form.

It’s not news that many non-diet sodas are among the worst things you can put in your body in terms of sugars and weight-gain, but in case you’re unclear, the city of Portland is really going to make you face the darker sides of your guilty pleasures.

One of the signs runners and walkers will see installed around Back Cove Friday. (Courtesy of Portland)

Tomorrow, using money from that $1.8 million federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant (the city’s gotten an awful lot of mileage out of that grant, hasn’t it? I feel like I write about another initiative funded by that grant every few weeks), the city will put up new signs around the Back Cove Trail. At the one-, two- and three-mile marks, runners and walkers will now know how far they’ve gone in terms of how much soda they’ve burned off.

Spoiler alert: It takes all three miles to burn off a 20 oz. bottle of cola.

As City Hall pointed out in its announcement, the new signs come just a few days after Duke University researchers released a study predicting that by 2030, roughly 42 percent of all Americans will be obese. The sugar sweetened beverages targeted by these new signs around Back Cove help hammer home the ideas that each 20 oz. container includes the equivalent of 16 sugar packets or 250 calories.

Here’s a statement by Mayor Michael Brennan, an avid runner, on the subject:

It is astonishing to think that our children are the first generation in recent history to have a life expectancy less than their parents. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the US and may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause. We have a moral responsibility to educate and arm adults and children with the tools they need to live healthy and active lives. This campaign shines an important light on the impact added sugars like those found in soda, sports and energy drinks can have on your health.


Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.