Drinks stance cor­rect

Geelong Advertiser - - YOUR SAY -

THE City of Greater Gee­long’s plan to phase out soft drinks in coun­cil and com­mu­nity op­er­ated fa­cil­i­ties will di­vide opin­ion. There will be many who say it is not coun­cil’s job to de­cide what can and can­not be con­sumed at com­mu­nity and sport­ing venues, and a strat­egy that seeks to ban some drinks over­steps the mark and smacks of a nanny state.

“Stick to fill­ing pot­holes and col­lect­ing garbage bins and leave my drink­ing habits alone,” many ratepay­ers may well cry.

“What is the point of ban­ning soft drinks?” others may ask, “when dim sims, hot dogs, pies, chips and ice creams can con­ceiv­ably still be pur­chased?”

There is some merit to those ar­gu­ments. Coun­cil has many im­por­tant jobs to do without con­cern­ing it­self over the state of ratepay­ers’ teeth and waist­lines. But there is a well­known say­ing that ‘it takes a vil­lage to raise a child’, and that phi­los­o­phy sup­ports the in­volve­ment of others in car­ing for our youth. Coun­cil al­ready plays a ma­jor role in en­sur­ing the well­be­ing of our lit­tlest cit­i­zens by pro­vid­ing ma­ter­nal and child health ser­vices, as well as child­care cen­tres and kinder­gartens. Coun­cils build and main­tain play­grounds.

A good coun­cil should care about — and for — kids, and the rest of the com­mu­nity.

There is a lot of ev­i­dence to sug­gest no good can come from the reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of soft drinks. Packed full of sugar and with no nu­tri­tional value, soft drinks rot teeth and make us fat.

Re­search shows Gee­long has one of the fat­test and chron­i­cally sick­est pop­u­la­tions, and sim­ply ig­nor­ing that fact helps no­body. Phas­ing out the sale of soft drinks, when and where pos­si­ble, is an at­tempt at do­ing some­thing to stem the ris­ing tide of poor health.

Bar­won Health has phased out soft drinks in its vend­ing ma­chines and cafes, and de­spite pre­dic­tions the ban would cause a riot, it has barely caused a rip­ple. Both Bar­won Health and the coun­cil are tak­ing their po­si­tions as com­mu­nity lead­ers se­ri­ously. They are try­ing to make a dif­fer­ence. They are mak­ing a start.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.