Yarra Ranges Shire Council

02/12/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/11/2018 23:53

Taking sugary drinks off the menu

Yarra Ranges Council has teamed up with the State Government's health promotion foundation VicHealth to give sugary drinks the flick and promote water as the drink of choice at local sport and recreation centres.

Yarra Ranges is one of eight councils that will share in more than $500,000 in funding as part of VicHealth's Water in Sport Initiative to reduce the availability and promotion of sugary drinks like soft drinks and sports drinks in kiosks and cafes at Victorian leisure and sports venues.

Yarra Ranges Council Director of Social and Economic Development Ali Wastie saidthe project aligned with a key Council commitment to reduce consumption of sugary drinks and encourage long term behaviour change in the community.

'Our partner Belgravia Leisure will be advancing their own mission to promote healthy communities by changing their offering in canteens and kiosks across their six recreation centres,' Ms Wastie said.

'Yarra Ranges has high rates of children with dental disease with some being admitted to hospital for teeth removal or treatment.

'We're delighted to be working with Belgravia to help tackle the health challenge.

'This project also supports Council's work with local community health centres and other partners in making a difference to people's health and wellbeing.'

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the projects were being delivered in areas with higher rates of sugary drink consumption, obesity or poor dental health.

'We know that too much sugar in our diet contributes to a range of major health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay and stroke,' Ms Rechter said.

'The average Australian eats 14 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Most of that extra sugar comes from sugary drinks, such as sports and energy drinks. A standard 600ml sports drink contains a whopping 11 teaspoons of sugar.

'Unfortunately, we constantly find a smorgasbord of these drinks at venues where children and families regularly play and watch sport. This sends an unhealthy message to our kids that sport and sugary drinks go hand in hand.

'We know that not all Victorians have the same opportunities to achieve good health and some communities are doing it tougher than others.

'That's why we'll be working with communities where data shows there are higher levels of sugary drink consumption and poor health.'

Ms Rechter said the new program would improve access to water and healthy drinks in local sport and recreation facilities in eight council areas across the state.

'Making water the drink of choice, instead of sugary drinks is a significant first step to implementing the

By 2023, VicHealth aims to support 200,000 more Victorians to adopt a healthier diet and in particular, to see people choosing water and healthy food options over soft drink and takeaway foods.