Source: Stuff, 21 March 2017
With more than 30 per cent of New Zealand's adult population
obese and a further 35 per cent over weight, we wonder what health
boards are doing to take a stand.
No coke. No high-sugar-content juices. No sweet stuff.
We were determined to lead from the front, said Waikato District
Health Board (DHB) medical officer of health Dr Richard
"Obesity is now the leading cost to the New Zealand health
budget," he said.
"Healthy eating is essential to good health and
over recent decades, we've seen vastly increased
populations of obese and overweight people."
The key person behind the initiative to get rid of the fizz was
Dr Rob Beaglehole, principal dental officer at
Beaglehole's mission became clear when he found himself
sitting in the hospital canteen with his hand in ice after
pulling out children's teeth all day. He looked out of the
window to see a Coca Cola truck dropping off a delivery to the
The collective of DHBs drew on international evidence,
studies and literature reviews from several countries to word
the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Policy.
DHBs will no longer sell any beverages that are sugar
sweetened, including soft drinks, sports drinks, milk with added
sugar (with the exception being anything below 250millilitres) and
A traffic light system has been designed; green light for water
and plain milk, which would be 70 per cent of what is on offer at
Amber light for no added
sugar fruit juice, flavoured milk and carbonated drinks under
250mls, which will make up 30 per cent of the beverages on offer.
Red light for anything else with sugar, which will not be on
There is no rule for what foods patients can bring into the
DHBs are implementing the policy at their own
pace. Vipond said he hoped the next step would be
for other organisations to follow suit and adopt some of