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North launches 'Drop the Pop' campaign

Health officials know that a lack of fresh, nutritious food is contributing to higher rates of obesity and diabetes in northern communities, including those in B.C.

It's a problem compounded by the fact that unhealthy food options are typically cheaper. A new campaign launched this month by the Northwest Territories government is trying to tackle one of the biggest culprits: pop.

Called Drop the Pop, the goal of the month-long campaign, which has been adopted in all three territories, is to to "encourage students and their families to consume healthier beverages and foods, to learn new skills and knowledge and to foster long-term healthier food intakes in order to maintain and improve overall well-being," according to the website. The campaign includes small cash awards for schools that take action towards healthier eating habits.

But whether or not the campaign will help northerners give up their pop addition is an open question, according to a recent Up Here magazine article. In it, the grocery store manager in the 160-person village of Grise Fiord, Nunavut said he sells a whopping 250 to 300 cans of pop per day. At $2.25 per can, it's still cheaper than milk, juice, and sometimes even water.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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