In keeping with its mission to partner with individuals and families to attain their highest level of health, the Wentworth-Douglass Health System will discontinue sugar-sweetened beverage and fried food options in the cafeteria, cafés and on patient menus by January 1, 2014.
Sugar-sweetened beverages and fried foods have been linked to obesity and other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Hospital President & CEO Gregory Walker, FACHE said, “As a healthcare organization, we have an obligation to lead by example. Our employee survey results also indicate their #1 health interest is nutrition and healthy eating.”
Sugar-sweetened beverages include any beverage with added sugar. Examples include regular soda, energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, lemonades and fruit drinks that are not 100% juice. Fried foods include, but are not limited to, french fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, fried chicken and fried fish. Wentworth-Douglass Health System will replace the fried items with baked items such as baked sweet potato oven fries. The Health System will also continue to offer water, seltzers, sugar-free and diet drinks, unsweetened coffee and teas, all milks (excluding whole milk), soymilk beverages, and 100% fruit and low sodium vegetable juices. Milk contains a natural sugar called lactose and 100% juice contains a natural sugar called fructose. These do not fall under the “sugar-sweetened” category because there are no added sugars. The Waterfall Café in the Hospital’s main lobby will continue to offer Starbucks-branded products.
Employees, patients and visitors have the right to choose other beverage and food alternatives and these drinks and food items can be brought into the facility. The Hospital will continue to research new options for healthier beverage and food selections.