A ban on fizzy drinks in Northland hospitals has won the support
of staff and the public, the Northland District Health Board
The ban will come into force from October 1, following a
reduction in supply throughout September.
All sugar-sweetened drinks, such as energy drinks, soft drinks,
iced tea, sports drinks and vitamin water drinks will no longer be
available in the DHB's hospital cafeterias and vending
The only beverages on offer will be water, unflavoured milk,
non-sugar added fruit and vegetable juices, tea and coffee, as well
as artificially-sweetened diet or 'zero' drinks.
The move has been met with strong approval from doctors,
diabetes and oral health services "to name a few", the DHB said
today, following the announcement in August.
"As health professionals, we set an example for our patients and
leadership starts by providing this example. Dropping fizzy drinks
is an easy first step to help equalise energy input and energy
output and gain health," Dr Cameron Schauer of the DHB's emergency
Northland DHB oral health advisor Dr Neil Croucher said the
decision was a great example of health promotion.
"The cornerstone of health promotion is to make the 'healthier
choices the easier choices', or another way of looking at it is
making the 'unhealthy choices the more difficult choices'," he
"Soon I will be able to walk into my hospital cafe and see
mostly water and natural fruit juices as the 'easy to grab' drink
Dr Croucher said high sugar intake has been linked to obesity
and diabetes, and was the prime cause of tooth decay, which was at
Dentists in Northland see children younger than 3 years' old who
already have all their teeth decayed, he said.
"Frequent intake of sugary laden drinks and foods easily
overcomes the protective mechanisms of fluoride toothpaste and
calcium rich saliva. The result is uncontrolled tooth decay in many
of our children and adolescents that is a well-known predictor of
early onset of obesity, diabetes and cardiac disease in
"The changes we will see in our hospital cafes and vending
machines on October 1 are a small step but are definitely a step in
the right direction."
Northland DHB is one of a raft of health boards across the
country which have implemented, or are considering, a ban on fizzy
drinks, including Nelson and Marlborough DHB, Wairarapa DHB and
How much sugar is in coke?
• 355ml can: 9 tsp
• 600ml bottle: 16 tsp
• 1.5 litre bottle: 40 tsp
• 2.25 litre bottle: 60 tsp
(Source: Northland DHB)