Fizzy drinks and fruit juices with added sugar will be off the menu in New Zealand hospital cafés, food retailers and vending machines.
Director-General of Health Chai Chuah has written to all DHBs, expecting to see a full ban at all hospital premises from 30 September 2015, New Zealand Doctor reports.
About three quarters of DHBs already have bans on fizzy drinks, sugar-added fruit juices (more than 90kJ per 100ml), sports drinks (more than 50kJ per 100ml) and full-fat flavoured milks.
And some hospitals have had a sugary drinks ban in place for nearly a decade. For example, fast-food outlets at Auckland DHB’s hospital premises took sugar-sweetened drinks off the menu nine years ago. Subway, Muffin Break and cafés within DHB premises all agreed not to sell sugary drinks – and instead sell diet drinks.
Eating sugar in excess is not healthy and new guidelines in the UK recommend we reduce the amount of sugar in our diet. Sugar, like salt, hides in much of the processed foods we buy, so we can consume too much without even knowing it.
Eating too much sugar means taking in too many calories, which leads to weight gain. This all adds up to increased risk of obesity and serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Based on current trends, if we don't cut down on sugar, one in three people in New Zealand will be obese by 2034.
Health board sugary drinks ban hailed Stuff, 2015