MidCentral Health has banned sugary drinks from all its hospital sites. From April 7 2015 there will be no sugary fruit drinks, soft drinks, sports and energy drinks or any other drinks with added sugar available from the hospital café or vending machines. What will be available, in this attempt to improve the health status of its residents, will be sugar for tea and coffee, low or non sugar enhanced drinks, unflavoured milk, tea or coffee and artificially sweetened drinks. Water of course is available as the preferred option.
Medical Officer of Health said they hoped the ban would encourage staff and visitors to reduce the consumption of sugar and thereby avoid the onset of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and dental problems.
He said that “This was about MidCentral taking a leadership role in its local community.”
Clinical director of dental services added that “It is not only the sugar content in drinks that is excessive, but the acidity of some of the drinks means that some people are literally dissolving their teeth away if they are frequent consumers.”
MidCentral Heath is again taking the lead in primary health care in the hope that other organisations will follow suit.