Cancer Council has urged Queensland hospitals to ban the sale of sugary drinks from hospital eateries and vending machines, in a bid to encourage healthier habits and reduce obesity.
The call follows a Queensland-first move by Caboolture Hospital banning the sale of all energy drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan encouraged hospitals to implement active measures to limit the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.
“Two in three Queensland adults and one in four Queensland children are overweight or obese – we need to do more to help our communities reach, and maintain, a healthy weight,” Ms McMillan said.
“We’re urging hospitals to set an example and promote healthy lifestyles by helping patients, staff and visitors make the healthy choice the easy choice, by limiting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages.
“Regular consumption of sugary drinks is associated with significant health problems including obesity, some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“The World Health Organisation recommends limiting sugar consumption from both food and drinks to no more than six teaspoons a day for optimum health.
“Just a couple of sips of a sugary drink could exceed that recommendation, undoing the benefits of an otherwise healthy diet.”
Ms McMillan said reducing sugar intake played a key role in improving an individual’s health and limiting weight gain.
“About 12 per cent of adults and eight per cent of children drink soft drink daily in Queensland,” Ms McMillan said.
“One 600ml bottle of a soft drink, sports drink, or energy drink contains up to 16 teaspoons of sugar and over 250 calories or 1000 kilojoules.
“Unfortunately, not enough Queenslanders offset these kilojoules with adequate exercise, resulting in overweight and obesity.
“At least one-third of all cancers are preventable through healthy lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, being physically active, reducing alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy weight.”
Queenslanders can limit their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by opting to drink water or unflavoured low-fat milk instead.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5345
Mobile: 0428 580 363