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No Soft Drink Machines In New Hospital

No Soft Drink Machines In New Hospital

When Christchurch Womens’ Hospital opens at the end of next month, there will be no soft drink vending machines in the building.

The Hospital’s General Manager Pauline Burt said the new hospital presented an ideal opportunity to get across the message that soft drinks are full of sugar and are not good for people’s health.

‘People can buy them and bring them in if they want to, but we won’t have them franchised for sale here.’

Ms Burt said there would be water coolers provided and her staff were currently working with the CDHB’s health promotion team to look at other appropriate alternatives.

She said she didn’t anticipate any problems because people always had a choice. However, it was not the role of the hospital to provide soft drinks vending machines.

Her comments were endorsed and supported by the NZ National Heart Foundation’s Medical Director Professor Norman Sharpe who said ‘soft drinks have been identified as an important contributor to childhood obesity. Just as we have been paying attention to a smokefree environment, we need to change that of the obesogenic environment.’ He said that the approach from the CDHB was ‘consistent with the Heart Foundation’s policies and actions particularly with vending machines in schools and other public places.’

Dr Martin Lee, Clinical Director for the CDHB’s School & Community Dental Services also supported the decision. He said that tooth decay affects everyone in the community not just children.

‘The dental affects of excess sugar are becoming well known, what we must continue to do is highlight the issues of diabetes and obesity in our community. Taking this stance is definitely a step in the right direction. I am sure every health professional will support this approach.’

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