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7-Eleven Uses Slurpees to Promote Cancer Research for Kids

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November 28, 2016. “Slurp4Good” signage on door of 7-Eleven in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Image credit: Cameron Plaszewski (age 15)

7-Eleven Fights Cancer with Slurpees?

The “Slurp4Good” campaign will donate 11 cents per LARGE Slurpee sold (up to $200,000) for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through January 3, 2017. Why isn’t this good? Think Diabetes. Childhood Obesity. Tooth decay. The list goes on…

“Everyone loves Slurpee drinks, especially the kids at St. Jude,” says Ena Williams, senior vice president of 7-Eleven. “When we took our mobile Slurpee stand to the hospital and gave away free drinks, it was a special treat for the children and a heart-warming experience for us. Our Franchisees are active supporters of St. Jude, and we want to help them support this worthy cause to end childhood cancer.”

How generous, but is pushing a drink with 134 grams of sugar the best way to do it?

7-Eleven does offer fruits, vegetables and bottled water. What about fundraising to fight cancer by promoting products that don’t create other health related diseases? Win-win. And 7-Eleven will receive a tax-break incentive for the $200,000 to St. Jude’s – whether it’s raised from sugary drink sales or healthier items, right? (Yes. They do.)

7‑Eleven, Inc. is largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry. Based in Irving, Texas, 7‑Eleven® operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 60,000 stores in 18 countries, including 10,700 in North America. Some interesting “Fun Facts” on the Slurpee® from the 7-Eleven Corporate website:

  • The #1 market in the world for Slurpee drink sales is Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, followed by the greater Detroit, Michigan area.*
  • Michigan is home to eight of the top 10 Slurpee-selling stores in the company, with Detroit-area stores selling about 3.5 times as many Slurpee drinks per day than the average U.S. store.
  • 7‑Eleven guests sip more than 14 million Slurpee beverages each month. Since introduced in 1966, some 7.2 billion Slurpee drinks have been sold, enough for every person on the planet.

You might be thinking, hey it’s a sweet treat for a great cause. Chill-out, Mom. Problem is, sugar isn’t only found in the occasional sweet-treat dessert. It’s loaded throughout processed foods like breakfast cereals, packaged snacks and juice drinks consumed daily by most kids.

Parents, watch out for school “fundraising”programs and other sneaky sugar-marketing tricks tied to local restaurants and fast-food establishments, too.

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* Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and Detroit, MI are both regions with concentrated ethnic populations.  

– Children 2 to 18 should consume no more than about six teaspoons of added sugars (25 grams) in their daily diets, according to recommendations from the American Heart Association.

 

Kimberly Cooper, MA is a development consultant, writer (Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, SF Chronicle), and former chief of operations for the “Reducing Childhood Obesity” initiative – a partnership between First 5 LA and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Current pro-bono projects (The Miseducated Dieter) include launching and publicizing sustainable programs impacting community health, education and wellness policy implementation for underserved populations via social media.

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