Sandringham and Caulfield Hospitals cut back on sugar
Sugary drinks are no longer on the menu at Caulfield and Sandringham hospitals in a major push to curb sugar intake and promote healthier choices.
Kiosks and vending machines at both sites will no longer sell full-sugar soft drinks or flavoured waters, instead offering lower-kilojoule or more nutrient rich options.
The move is based on the Victorian Government’s healthy choices food and drink guidelines, which suggest drinks that fall into the 'red' catergory (full sugar, low nutrient varieties) should be replaced with 'green' drinks - like water.
Kia Noble, Lead for Population Health Healthy Living, said the decision stems from Alfred Health's committment to promoting healthy communities, and preventing lifestyle-based diseases.
"Today our environments are littered with junk food – supermarkets are open 24 hours, billboards advertise poor food choices, even our sport is often sponsored by big food companies. Junk food has become the norm," Ms Noble said.
"We've set out to denormalise junk foods, because they shouldn’t be consumed daily.
"It’s not about taking away choice either. We’ve conducted several trials that show the environment can have a really positive effect on food purchases."
At The Alfred, trials showed that simply hiding sugary drinks under the counter and adding 20 per cent to the price reduced sales by 36,500 'red' drinks each year. Also, labelling food with green, amber or red traffic light labels resulted in a 17 per cent reduction in ‘red’ food sales. Importantly, the trials did not reduce sales, people simply made healthier choices.
Carol Anderson, who manages the kiosk at Sandringham, said the move has been well received by staff and visitors. Over the past two decades, she has noticed a shift in consumer behaviour towards healthier options. Carol will be working with suppliers to source more 'green' food options to give customers more choice at the kiosk.