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ADA NSW welcomes NSW Health ban on sugary drinks

ADA NSW welcomes NSW Health ban on sugary drinks

Rethink-Sugary-Drinks.jpgADA NSW welcomes NSW Health’s move to ban sugary drinks from all health facilities and calls on other states and territories health departments to follow its lead.
 
“Not only does this important health initiative demonstrate leadership, it is a practical step to combat obesity rates and improve the health of Australians. ADA NSW would like to encourage all other states and territories to also remove sugary drinks from health facilities,” ADA NSW President, Dr Sabrina Manickam said.
 
NSW Health announced yesterday that it will remove sugary drinks from all health facilities by the end of this year. The policy is designed to support its Make Healthy Normal campaign by increasing the availability and choice of healthy foods and drinks for staff and visitors in hospital cafes, staff cafeterias, vending machines and catering services.
 
“Australians are among the top ten countries in the world for per capita consumption of soft drinks. Drinking sugary drinks is one of the worst things you can do to your teeth and your overall health. There are 16 teaspoons of sugar in one 600ml bottle of soft drink – 30% more sugar than the daily recommendation in one drink. Despite being largely preventable, tooth decay is the most prevalent health problem among Australian – and drinking and eating too much sugar is the main dietary cause of tooth decay,” Dr Manickam said.
 
More than 90% of Australian adults experience tooth decay at some stage in their life and three out of ten adults have untreated tooth decay. Dental decay is the second most costly diet-related disease in Australia, with an economic impact comparable to heart disease and diabetes.
 
Some local health districts have already removed the ban. ADA NSW Board Member, Dr Kathleen Matthews, is a Senior Dental Officer with Murrumbidgee Local Health District, which removed sugar-sweetened drinks from it health facilities six months ago.
 
“As a dentist, it was particularly concerning to be treating patients with tooth decay, quite often caused by excessive sugar consumption, while providing them with easy access to the culprit in vending machines and the cafeteria. Since removing all sugary drinks, we haven’t had any complaints,” Dr Matthews said.
 
“It is particularly pleasing that NSW Health is looking for more healthy options in vending machines. We would encourage all organisations hosting vending machines to consider doing the same. Replacing sugary drinks with water in vending machines in airports, universities, TAFE, colleges, train stations, shopping centres and sporting facilities across Australia would be a significant step towards combating rising obesity rates,” Dr Manickam said.

Download the full media release here.
 
ADA NSW supports the following initiatives: Re-think Sugary Drink, #SugarByHalf, #waterwiththat, Live Lighter, Protecting Teen Teeth, Protecting Tiny Teeth.