University of Michigan health system, med school won't sell sugary drinks in cafeterias
Fruit juices, milk, smoothies, flavored waters, tea, coffee will be available
The University of Michigan Health System and the medical school soon will stop selling sugary drinks in their cafeterias and vending machines.
The policy is set to take effect in mid-November and applies to sodas, sweetened coffees, sports drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, energy drinks and sweetened tea.
Studies indicate that consumption of sugary beverages is associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease and poor bone, joint and dental health.
"I can understand especially being a dental student," said Allyssa Robinson.
Drinks that will remain on shelves include diet soda, 100 percent fruit juice, white and chocolate milk, milkshakes, smoothies, flavored waters, unsweetened tea, coffee and vegetable juice.
Staff, visitors and patients still can bring in their own drinks.
“Sugar-sweetened beverages are a source of nutrition-less or 'empty' calories in the American diet and a significant contributor to obesity,” said Dr. Valerie Castle, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “By providing healthier beverage options within the Hospitals and Health Centers, we are making it easier for our community to achieve healthier lifestyles.”
The U-M Health System and medical school join a number of entities across the country that are doing the same.
"I think if you really want soda, you're going to. Less accessible will help people stay away from it, which I think they really need to do," said grad student Veronica Rios.
Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica hospitals stopped selling sugary drinks earlier this year, saying that evidence was growing that showed the drinks were "hazardous to our health." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has received national attention for trying to bar eateries from selling sugary drinks in big sizes.