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NSW will be first Australian state to remove sugary drinks from health facilities

Media release: 
08/06/2017

The George Institute for Global Health strongly supports the New South Wales Government for removing sugary drinks from all its health facilities.

The NSW Government unveiled its ‘Healthy Choices in Health Facilities’ policy today with news that sugary drinks will be phased out by the end of the year.

The George Institute’s Alexandra Jones, said this was a fantastic example of leadership from NSW. “This demonstrates we can set up our health system to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay – not just treat them.

“Leadership by the health sector is a critical step. This happened with smoking – where the health sector leads, workplaces and other public places can follow.

“This is about making healthy choices easier, and making healthy eating the new normal.”

The policy is designed to support the Make Healthy Normal campaign and support NSW Health staff and visitors by increasing the availability and choice of healthy foods and drinks in NSW Health facilities. Healthy choices will make up at least 75 per cent of the offering.

NSW Health Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said vending machines, cafes and catering services were all earmarked to offer more healthy options for staff and visitors.

“We are working toward a 5 per cent reduction in overweight and obesity rates in adults by 2020, and there’s no better way to start than right here on our own doorstep,” Dr Chant said in a media release.

“It is important NSW Health provides healthy food and drink choices for all our staff and visitors. By establishing this model we hope it shows how a workable strategy can be successfully implemented across any organisation to assist healthier choices in any staffing environment.”

Trials of similar initiatives elsewhere, including the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, have already proved successful with people simply switching to healthier drink choices, without any loss of retail profits.

More information on the policy (Healthy Food and Drink in NSW Health Facilities for Staff and Visitors Framework), tools and resources to support implementation can be found at health.nsw.gov.au/heal