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‘I think it disrespects Australians’: Refined drink ban in hospitals branded ‘overreach’ by beverages lobby

‘I think it disrespects Australians’: Refined drink ban in hospitals branded ‘overreach’ by beverages lobby

The sale of sugary drinks has been banned in public hospitals in Western Australia as part of measures to strive against obesity, which has been applauded by well being groups nonetheless criticised by the beverages industry as “overreach”.

Key points:

  • Sugary drinks are in truth banned in hospital cafes or vending machines
  • The protection to deal with obesity has been welcomed by well being groups
  • However the beverages lobby says it erodes consumers’ rights

Below the protection, all vending machines and retail shops including cafes, gift shops and kiosks can now now not promote sugar-sweetened drinks that absorb low or no nutritional fee.

Early Newspaper

That includes subtle drinks, iced tea, vitality and sports drinks and some fruit juices, flavoured waters and milks.

Nonetheless, sugar-free subtle drinks — including diet subtle drinks — are restful allowed provided they’re now not any bigger than 600ml.

A close-up photo of a woman wearing a black jumper.

Denise Sullivan says the protection displays the messages the Health Division is promoting in the community.(

ABC Information: Julian Robins


Health Division acting assistant director-general public and Aboriginal well being Denise Sullivan acknowledged the protection used to be geared toward addressing the growing obesity field.

“For the time being, round 70 per cent of adults are chubby or chubby and 25 per cent of younger folks, so it in truth falls on the division to be certain that that we’re also reflecting the well being messages that we’re promoting out in the community, which is round ensuring that there are healthy determination alternate choices available,” Ms Sullivan acknowledged.

The measure is an extension of the division’s Wholesome Alternate choices WA: Meals and Nutrition protection, which makes employ of a “traffic gentle” labelling machine corresponding to that old college in college canteens.

Half of all food and drinks sold must be “green”, or low in saturated fleshy, added sugar and salt, with a most of 20 per cent “pink” or unhealthy meals.

An audit of the protection in 2019 printed none of WA’s hospitals had fully complied with the well-known protection to attend more healthy food to visitors.

Ms Sullivan acknowledged the rollout of doubtlessly the most contemporary ‘healthy alternate choices’ measure started in February, adding she anticipated hospitals to conform. 

“We’re seeing honest progress primarily within our main metropolitan hospitals, so sugar-sweetened beverages absorb for doubtlessly the most part disappeared from our vending machines.

[There’s] a little bit of labor restful to be finished in terms of the cafeteria food companies, nonetheless expectations are that we can behold honest compliance in time,” she acknowledged. 

Ms Sullivan acknowledged the protection used to be now amongst the strictest in the nation, with the same bans in position in Victoria and Queensland.

Most cancers Council calls for protection extension 

Most cancers Council WA most cancers prevention and examine director Melissa Ledger acknowledged it used to be well-known for hospitals to spend the lead in “providing healthy environments”.

A vending machine at Sir Charles Gairdner hospital

A vending machine at Sir Charles Gairdner hospital affords sugar-free subtle drinks and ‘no added sugar’ flavoured milk.(

ABC Information: Alisha O’Flaherty


“Provided that sugary drinks are making us ill, they’re increasing our possibilities of weight gain and a assortment of ailments, it’s in truth colossal management from our hospitals,” Ms Ledger acknowledged.

“Most of us must be healthy, [but] it’s exhausting to be healthy when we’re surrounded by the promotion and marketing of sugary drinks and so this healthy possibility protection appropriate makes it so remarkable more straightforward for us to be healthy,” she acknowledged.

Ms Ledger called for the protection to be extended to other facilites.

“It might well well be incredible management to behold healthy alternate choices policies rolled out across other government agencies and public facilities, so here’s a first step in what is an awfully promising opportunity to absorb environments that reinforce us to be as healthy as we might well well be,” she acknowledged.

‘We know what decisions to design’

But Australian Beverages Council spokeswoman Cathy Cook acknowledged Australians were already making more healthy decisions and the recent protection removed consumers’ unbiased appropriate to purchase what they drink.

“What we now absorb viewed is a pattern of Australians making informed decisions and more healthy decisions whereas restful reserving the ideally suited to absorb a possibility to absorb that little treat when they absorb to treat themselves and we now absorb all handled ourselves a little during COVID,” Ms Cook acknowledged.

Australian Beverages Council spokeswoman Cathy Cook

Australian Beverages Council spokeswoman Cathy Cook says the ban undermines consumer determination.(

ABC Information: Adam Wyatt


“Whereas you spend away all decisions from Australians — of everything nonetheless what a particular group decides is a healthy determination — I think it disrespects Australians,” she acknowledged.

“We’re seeing Australians making colossal decisions and whereas we reinforce all efforts to in truth design healthy products available for all Australians, it does seem like a little bit of overreach.”

But Ms Sullivan acknowledged banned drinks purchased exterior of hospitals would restful be allowed on the facilities.

“It doesn’t halt folks from consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, they appropriate is now not going to be ready to purchase it in our hospitals,” she acknowledged.

‘I think it disrespects Australians’: Refined drink ban in hospitals branded ‘overreach’ by beverages lobby