Sydney Children's Hospitals Network is going sugar free

From December NSW Health’s Healthy Choices in Health Facilities framework will be rolled out across Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

This is the first phase of the Healthy Choices in Health Facilities roll-out which will see all sugar sweetened drinks currently available for purchase replaced with sugar free options. Phase two of the framework will begin in 2018 and will focus on healthier food options.

With one in five children in NSW overweight or obese, there is strong link between sugary drink consumption and excessive weight. This can lead to a number of chronic health conditions including Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and some cancers.

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network is making the healthy choice the easy choice by removing soft drinks, cordials, iced teas and energy drinks from our vending machines, kiosks, cafes and catering.

Food services for patients will not be affected. Families, staff and visitors to SCHN will be able to bring their own drinks from home or other outside outlets into the Hospital.

For more information on the Healthy Choices in Health Facilities campaign visit, www.health.nsw.gov.au/heal

If you have any further questions see our Frequently Asked Questions below or email: SCHN-healthychoices@health.nsw.gov.au

Where have the soft drinks gone?

NSW Health is leading the way by being the first state in Australia to remove sugary drinks from health facilities. The initiative is part of “Healthy choices in health facilities” which aims to increase the availability of healthy food and drink options and decrease the availability of less healthy food and drink options in cafes, vending machines and catering.

Why remove sugary drinks?

There is strong evidence of a link between being overweight or obese and drinking sugary beverages. Sugary drinks such as soft drinks, cordials, iced teas, energy and sports drinks contain added sugars and have no nutritional benefit. As a health provider, the wellbeing of our staff and visitors is a priority. This includes creating a healthy food and drink environment that makes the healthy choice an easy choice. 

Where does Healthy Choices in Health Facilities apply?

It applies to any outlet where foods and drinks are available to staff and visitors throughout Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. This includes catering for special events, cafes, cafeterias, kiosks and coffee carts, vending machines, convenience stores, newsagents, and pharmacies. It does not apply to drinks brought in by staff and visitors from outside the hospital or home. It also does not apply to fundraising activities in NSW Health facilities.

What drinks will be sold instead?

Water is always the healthiest drink, but there are other healthier options that can also be sold. These include juices and flavoured water with no added sugar, diet drinks, tea, coffee and milk drinks.

What about drinks provided to patients?

The healthy food and drink framework will not impact food services for patients. Visitors, families and staff will are able to bring their own drinks from outside if they wish.