Hospital Bans Sugar-Sweetened Drinks
One Minnesota hospital is taking the New York City soda ban into their own hands, instituting a ground-breaking ban on sugar-sweetened products in light of the new legislation regulating the product.
St. Luke’s Hospital of Duluth, Minn. has eliminated the sale and provision of all sugar-sweetened beverages from its premises, they recently announced. Although the decision was made on September 17, the ban has not yet been entirely eliminated and is estimated to take effect on November 1.
While the ban removes all soda, including vending machines, cafeterias, and patient menus, the ban does not prevent employees or families of patients from bringing in their own sugar-sweetened beverages. The hospital will also continue selling no-sugar sodas, such as Diet Coke, and will add no-sugar-added juices, Diet Snapple, and flavored seltzer waters to the hospital’s beverage offerings.
The hospital’s concern stems from studies indicating that sugar-sweetened beverages propel 20 to 40 percent of all weight gain in Americans in the past decade. They do not argue for taking the issue of obesity entirely into their hands, but rather hope to provide a guiding example for others.
“While we acknowledge that beverage consumption is not the only factor impacting obesity, reducing its consumption is a fairly easy way for people to reverse its impact,” the hospital announced in a public statement.