Put that can down

Last Friday, with much fanfare, the Alameda County Public Health Department declared war _ at least for the summer _ on carbonated, sugary drinks. Otherwise known as the S word: soda.

The campaign, funded by a Kaiser Permanente grant, will educate people about weight gain and other health issues brought about by soda consumption. Soda-free is the way to be, county officials say.

There are exceptions, however. Like the county public health department itself. Department leaders are going to communities for suggestions to make the 14 cities and a dozen unincorporated communities healthier places to live and work.

Heading the list of dietary no-nos is soda, Dr. Anthony Iton, the county’s health director, is saying at the six forums that wrap up today in Alameda.

The department also is hosting a dinner for people who attend the forums. Last week in Castro Valley, the meal consisted of lasagna, bread, cookies and….soda.

Bottled water and salad also were on the menu.