San Francisco General Hospital announced it will no longer offer sodas or any other sugary drinks because those drinks are too unhealthy for patients and visitors.
According to the hospital, too much sugar is linked to diabetes and other health problems. SF General will only offer water, milk, 100-percent fruit juice, diet soft drinks – but no sugar-added drinks.
“We are moving away from providing and offering sugary beverages on campus,” said Hospital Associate Administrator Shermineh Jafarieh. “That includes our campus, our cafeteria, our food services, our vending machines.”
Hospital officials said their decision is all about health.
“We often talk about the obesity epidemic and the high rates of diabetes we have in America, and sugary substances and sugary beverages certainly contribute to that,” Dr. Rita Nguyen said.
The move comes just days after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved proposals aimed at cutting sugary-drink consumption citywide.
Roger Salazar, a spokesman for CalBev, which represents the state beverage industry, said the city’s ban on soda advertisements and their warnings labels are misguided.
“in addition to being bad public policy, we think the measures related to advertisings have some free speech problems we’re concerned about,” Salazar said. “So we’re going to explore all the options that are available to us on these three measures.”
UCSF will also start phasing out sugary drinks at its hospitals and campuses next month.