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DHB ‘walking the talk’ with drink options

28 October 2005

Hawke’s Bay DHB ‘walking the talk’ with drink options

A board decision earlier this year to remove high-sugar drinks from vending machines in public areas at Hawke’s Bay District Health Board facilities has spurred the DHB to review all options available for staff and the public.

Board chief executive, Chris Clarke, said the issue was first raised at a board meeting by DHB member and principal dental officer for Hawke’s Bay, Dr David Marshall, and had snowballed into a project to look at healthier drink options. Next year it is planned to extend the review to look at food and snack options available at DHB facilities.

Mr Clarke said it was important the DHB was seen as a role model when it came to ‘walking the talk’ about Hawke’s Bay people living healthier lifestyles. “We’re now a Smokefree DHB, and we are piloting a 10,000 steps at work exercise programme for staff. This latest move to provide healthier drink choices in vending machines is another way to slowly but surely make it clear we are making changes to help improve the health of Hawke’s Bay people.

From Monday 31 October the highest sugar content drinks will be removed from public vending machines around Hawke’s Bay Hospital. Zacs Café (which is for hospital staff and the public) will also carry a reduced range of drink options.

Next week public health unit staff will be putting up posters around the DHB which show the amount of sugar in a range of popular drinks. For example a popular ‘energy’ drink contains 19 teaspoons of sugar, and a can of fizzy has around 10 teaspoons of sugar!

“As well as obvious oral health concerns, sugary drinks can also contribute to obesity. I’m hopeful this move will raise awareness about the high sugar-content in many drinks, and lead to a change in people’s choices,” Chris Clarke.

ENDS

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