With Queensland removing sugary drinks from its hospitals and
health services from today, the 19 leading health and community
organisations behind Rethink Sugary Drink have applauded the
Queensland State Government's commitment to putting health before
The directive, led by the Queensland Government, follows an
announcement earlier this year to ban unhealthy food and drink
promotions on all Government-owned advertising spaces.
Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition,
a partner of Rethink Sugary Drink, said sugary drinks have no place
in hospitals and health services and called on other Australian
states to follow Queensland's example by providing healthier
environments for patients, visitors and staff.
"Sugary drinks, like sports drinks, soft drinks and energy
drinks, are a contributor to tooth decay, weight gain, obesity, and
serious long-term health problems, but ironically they are readily
available in our hospitals and health facilities," Ms Martin
At a time when more than 12.5 million Australians are overweight
or obese , hospitals and health services are treating increasing
numbers of patients with weight-related chronic diseases such as
Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers.
"Sugary drinks are the largest contributor of added sugar in
Australians' diets. It makes no sense for these beverages to be
available in settings designed to treat people who are unwell or
recovering from surgery. Nor does it send the right message to
visitors, who are often the primary audience for these unhealthy
"It's fantastic to see Queensland's health services creating
healthier environments for patients, staff and visitors. Given the
health effects of these drinks, we are urging other states and
territories to follow suit."
The Queensland Government's Healthier Drinks directive will see
all unhealthy drinks that are classified in the state's RED
category removed from sale in the state's hospitals and health
This will include all drinks with added sugar including soft
drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks. The
directive also states that artificially sweetened drinks and
flavoured milks can only be sold in smaller serving sizes.
The directive stipulates that water should be promoted as the
drink of choice, encouraging healthcare facilities to provide free
Patients, staff and visitors will also have a variety of
healthier drink options including hot drinks, sparkling waters and
non-sugar sweetened varieties.
The Rethink Sugary Drink alliance recommends the following
actions to tackle sugary drink consumption:
- A public education campaign supported by Australian governments
to highlight the health impacts of regular sugary drink
- Comprehensive mandatory restrictions by state governments on
the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (and increased availability
of free water) in schools, government institutions, children's
sports and places frequented by children.
- Development of policies by state and local governments to
reduce the availability of sugar sweetened beverages in workplaces,
government institutions, health care settings, sport and recreation
facilities and other public places.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Health Survey:
First Results, 2017-18. 2018