Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) will remove sugary drinks from sale in all of its health facilities by the end of December this year.
The move follows the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant’s announcement in June that NSW will be the first state in Australia to remove sugary drinks from all health facilities.
The Healthy Choices in Health Facilities policy framework, which is guiding the removal of sugary drinks, is designed to support staff and visitors by increasing the availability and choice of healthy foods and drinks in Hospitals and Community Health centres.
MNCLHD will remove sugary drinks by 31 December this year and in the new year focus on offering healthier food choices in all of its facilities.
Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said it was important for the LHD to lead by example by providing healthy food and drink options available for purchase for staff and visitors.
“We are aiming to take a leadership role in making healthy choices easier for our staff and community,” Mr Dowrick said.
“As a health service, we need to ensure the food and drink choices we offer for sale in our facilities support the important healthy eating advice being given to patients and the community.”
Health promotion manager Andrew Bailey said that half of all Australians are consuming more sugar than recommended.
“Sugary drinks contribute to overweight and obesity.
“By providing healthier drink options, we are supporting our staff and the community to Make Healthy Normal,” Mr Bailey said.
Changes will be seen in coming weeks to the types of drinks offered in vending machines, cafes and other retail outlets. Sugary drinks that will no longer be sold include soft drinks, some flavoured waters, fruit drinks, cordials, iced teas, energy drinks and sports drinks.
More information on the Healthy Choices in Health Facilities policy, tools and resources to support implementation can be found at www.health.nsw.gov.au/heal