Council to remove sugary drinks from its leisure centres
Auckland Council’s plans to remove sugar sweetened beverages from its facilities over time shows it is serious about health and wellbeing of its people.
Healthy Auckand Together spokesperson Dr Julia Peters says "it makes no sense to have leisure centres encouraging active lifestyles when they have vending machines promoting sugary drinks.
“These council facilities could now increase the healthy options available. Without these alternatives, children and adults think that fizzy drinks are okay every day,” Dr Peters says.
Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa, Papakura has achieved a win for its communities and also for others across the region, with a Council-wide plan to work with food suppliers on healthy options.
Around thirty percent of high school students drink fizzy or soft drinks four or more times a week, yet high consumption of these drinks is associated with obesity and preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
“Schools and hospitals are already removing sugary drinks from sale, both as a practical step and as a signal of how unhealthy these drinks are. Sugar sweetened beverages contribute almost a quarter of our total sugar intake and there’s nothing nutritious about them,” Dr Peter says.
Other local bodies are considering this same move, from a full ban in Nelson and Marlborough councils, to Christchurch, Palmerston North, Timaru and Dunedin councils working with their district health boards on similar changes.