We’ve all heard how nutrition influences a healthy lifestyle—but there’s no substitute for taking positive action. To this end, a new selection of healthier drink options has been introduced at Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Calgary.
In January, 23 healthier beverages replaced the same number of sugar-sweetened drinks in the cafeteria and vending machines throughout ACH.
“Sugar-sweetened beverages do not offer any nutritional value and are linked to a higher risk of serious health conditions including heart disease, hypertension, dental problems and diabetes,” says Carole Micholuk, executive director of Nutrition and Food Services for Calgary Zone. “This new roster of healthier drinks will provide a satisfying alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages.”
New options include bottled water, natural-flavoured seltzers and smaller portions of unsweetened fruit juices.
Peter Glanville is the father of two-year-old Eddie, an inpatient at ACH, and his six-year-old brother Luke. Glanville says he feels that having fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, especially at a facility like a children’s hospital, promotes health and wellness and encourages children to choose healthier options.
“It’s more difficult to expect my children to choose something healthy for themselves when the sugary drinks are so easily available,” he says. “My children’s health is important to me, and these healthier options encourage them to make better choices.”
Suzanne Libbey, a project manager at ACH, says she agrees the new drink selection is a great idea.
“I’m more likely to make a good choice if a healthier option is available to me,” she says.
During the Alberta Health Services (AHS) 2016 Wellness Survey, 71 per cent of respondents in the Calgary Zone indicated they would prefer that the majority of food and beverages offered at AHS facilities be healthy choices.
According to Micholuk: “Refreshing the beverage options at ACH is a small but impactful way to lead Albertans towards greater health and well-being.”
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