Bendigo Health removes sugary drinks from sale at hospital

WATER THE WAY TO GO: Dr Mark Savage says sugary drinks contribute to major health problems, as Bendigo Health removes them from the hospital. Picture: DARREN HOWE
WATER THE WAY TO GO: Dr Mark Savage says sugary drinks contribute to major health problems, as Bendigo Health removes them from the hospital. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Highly sugary drinks are no longer available at Bendigo hospital, in a bid to encourage healthy living.

Bendigo Health acting chief executive officer Peter Faulkner said sugar-sweetened drinks had been removed from sale in all retail outlets and vending machines.

Mr Faulkner said the measure “gives us the opportunity to live our vision of healthy communities and world-class healthcare”.

Director of medicine, Dr Mark Savage, said sugary drinks were a major health problem for adults and children, with an “explosion” of type 2 diabetes in the population.

Dr Savage said the World Health Organisation recommended just six teaspoons of sugar per day, yet a single soft drink could contain two and a half times that amount.

Posters and leaflets are placed in the hospital to advise people on healthier drink and food choices.

Retailer Zouki has also revamped its menu according to Victoria’s ‘healthy choices’ guidelines.

This has seen the healthiest foods given prominence in displays and used exclusively in special deals, new methods of cooking, and training for staff on preparing and selling healthy foods.

Fifty per cent of foods available for sale or also in the ‘green’, or healthiest, category.

A diet high in sugar is linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay.