Coun­cil not sweet on sugar-free pro­posal

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By JO McKEN­ZIE-McLEAN

A chal­lenge for Cen­tral Otago to be the next re­gion to ban sug­ary drinks gained lit­tle en­thu­si­asm from coun­cil­lors at its Long Term Plan meet­ing this week.

Wel­lSouth’s Sarah Berger im­plored Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil­lors to fol­low Nel­son City Coun­cil’s ‘‘pi­o­neer­ing’’ ex­am­ple and in­tro­duce a Sugar Sweet­ened Bev­er­ages Pol­icy at its public sub­mis­sions hear­ing on Mon­day for its 2015-2025 Long Term Plan.

The Nel­son City Coun­cil adopted the ban in July.

‘‘Lo­cal coun­cils are in a great po­si­tion to as­sist healthy work­places through the pro­vi­sion of healthy bev­er­age choices. By set­ting an ex­am­ple of good health, the coun­cil can in­flu­ence all vis­i­tors and the wider com­mu­nity.’’

A Sugar Sweet­ened Bev­er­ages Pol­icy would en­sure when the coun­cil pro­vided bev­er­ages it had pur­chased, it only pro­vided those that had not had sugar added to them at point of sale, she said.

Drinks the coun­cil would no longer pro­vide would in­clude fizzy drinks, sa­chet mixes, fruit drinks, cor­dials, flavoured milks, cold teas/cof­fees and en­ergy/sports drinks. Drinks sup­ported un­der the pol­icy would in­clude wa­ter, 100 per cent fruit juice, unsweet­ened milk, ar­ti­fi­cially sweet­ened or zero sugar soft drinks.

‘‘The pol­icy would pro­vide a way for the coun­cil to help ad­dress the prob­lem of obe­sity, which is of par­tic­u­lar con­cern in the south­ern re­gion . . .

‘‘In New Zealand chil­dren live in an en­vi­ron­ment where un­healthy food and bev­er­ages is heav­ily pro­moted and is more ac­ces­si­ble and cheaper than healthy food and bev­er­ages.’’

Wel­lSouth rec­om­mended the pol­icy should re­strict the sale of sweet­ened drinks in the Cromwell and Alexan­dra swim­ming pools. It also rec­om­mended pools be clearly des­ig­nated Smoke­free ar­eas.

Coun­cil­lor Stu­art Dun­can said the sugar-free pol­icy would be ‘‘con­tro­ver­sial’’.

Dur­ing dis­cus­sion time fol­low­ing the sub­mis­sions coun­cil­lors barely men­tioned the sugar-free pro­posal.

Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Health Board’s prin­ci­pal den­tal of­fi­cer Dr Rob Bea­gle­hole says a pro­posed ban on sug­ary drinks sold at Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cilowned build­ings and events would show lead­er­ship in the battle against tooth de­cay in chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.