The NSW government has taken the extraordinary step of banning all soft drinks including Coke and lemonade from our hospitals.
However, hospital cafes are still stocking items such as chocolate milk and ice-creams.
The Australian reports NSW Health also wanted to ban soft drinks being sold at rail stations, stadiums and other government facilities but other government departments were against the plan.
Upper house Liberal MP Peter Phelps called the Berejiklian government’s hospital ban “nuts” and a “terrible development … It denies choice to individuals who should have the ability to make a choice. The inconsistency and hypocrisy of what they choose to ban and … to keep is galling.”
“I have a brother-in-law currently in Canberra Hospital who is fluids only,” Mr Phelps said, “and they gave him a lemonade for breakfast. (Why is it) not good enough for mum to visit her daughter and have a can of lemonade while she’s waiting?”
The new ban is part of the state governments “Healthy Choices in Health Facilities” policy.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said:
“We are working towards a 5 per cent reduction in overweight and obesity rates in adults by 2020, and there’s no better way to start than on our own doorstep,”
However, The Australian went to St Vincents Hospital and found the canteen now only sold Coke Zero and sugar-free organic lemonade, you could still purchase food items including chocolate milk, orange juice and high protein drinks.
Also still available were bags of lollies and Magnum ice-creams.
A NSW Health spokesman said yesterday: “NSW Health is taking a leadership position to make healthy choice the easy choice for our staff and visitors.”
“Sugar-sweetened drinks with no nutritional value have been removed from sale, but a large range of healthier options continue to be available, such as diet drinks, flavoured milk, 100 per cent fruit juice and water.”
“Staff and visitors are largely supportive — 80 per cent support the removal of sugar-sweetened drinks.”