Sugar-sweetened drinks will be off the shelves at Northland's public hospital cafeterias and vending machines from Tuesday after the Northland District Health Board says the plan received support from staff and the public.
Last month, the NDHB approved a policy to remove all sugar-sweetened drinks from hospital cafeterias and vending machines from October 1.
General manager of NDHB Child, Youth, Maternal, Public and Oral Health Services Jeanette Wedding said the decision has had a lot of support from staff and had received positive comments from the public, particularly on Facebook.
"The stocks [of soft drinks] are going down per the NDHB's request that they be reduced during September and we will be monitoring for compliance from October 1. Thanks to staff and public for their support in initiating a strategy to improve healthy lifestyles," she said.
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The sweetened drinks generally include soft drinks, fruit drinks, iced tea, sports drinks, energy and vitamin water drinks. Low or no-sugar beverage options include water, unflavoured milk, non-sugar added fruit and vegetable juices, tea, coffee, artificially- sweetened diet or zero drinks and these will still be available.
The move was met with strong approval from doctors, diabetes and oral health services, Ms Wedding said.
Emergency Department doctor Cameron Schauer said: "As health professionals, we set an example for our patients and leadership starts by providing this example. Dropping fizzy drinks is an easy first step to help equalise energy input and energy output and gain health ... we can also show that there are plenty of great, healthier alternatives."
Northland DHB Oral Health advisor Dr Neil Croucher said the decision is a great example of health promotion and "what better place to start than our own workplace?"
NDHB Diabetes Services clinical nurse manager Amy Savage said the removal of sugary drinks is important in terms of tackling the prevention of Type 2 diabetes as well as preventing obesity, tooth decay and general health.
There are more than 9000 people with diabetes in Northland - 6 per cent of the total population.