21 Feb 2014

DHB takes sugar off the menu

3:54 pm on 21 February 2014

The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board is banning all sales of sugary drinks from its hospitals.

From 17 March, no sugary beverages, including soft, sports, energy or flavoured milk drinks, will be on sale at cafes and shops at Nelson and Wairau hospitals.

Chief executive Chris Fleming says the DHB and hospitals are role models for the community when it comes to healthy food policies and practices, and the policy sends a clear message regarding health and diet.

Mr Fleming says drinks with added sugar are the leading source of sugar for New Zealand children, and the leading risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

Nelson dentist Rob Beaglehole applauds the board's decision and would like to see other boards do the same. He says DHBs need to show leadership and remove products that cause illness and disease, particularly in children.

Mr Beaglehole says he spends a lot time extracting teeth from young children who have been consuming sugar- sweetened beverages.