21 Feb 2014

NZ - Hospitals ban sugary drinks

Nelson HospitalSugary drinks are being banned at Nelson and Wairau Hospitals to send a "clear message" about improving diet and health.
In what is being hailed as a national first, a change in the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board's healthy eating policy means that all drinks sweetened with sugar will be taken off the shelves at cafes and shops on hospital grounds. Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and flavoured milk are all forbidden after March 31. Fruit juices with no added sugar will not be affected.
A NMDHB representative said the Nelson Hospital cafe already leaned towards healthy choices, stocking flavoured milks and smoothie products rather than soft drinks, but these would be removed as well under the policy.
Chief executive Chris Fleming said the DHB and hospitals had a responsibility to model healthy food policies and practices for the community. He wanted to provide an environment where making healthy choices was easy.
"This policy change sends a clear message regarding diet and health and our commitment to the health of people in Nelson Marlborough.
"Drinks with added sugar are the leading source of sugar for New Zealand children, and the leading risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay."
He acknowledged the policy could affect sales at the Nelson Hospital shop, which is operated by volunteers who return profits to the hospital through equipment purchases, but said that the district's health had to be the board's main priority.............

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