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Rethink Your Drink: Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Changes at CMC/DHK

rethink your drinkAt CMC/DHK, a commitment has been made to Vision 2020 and the goal that together, we can live in the nation's healthiest community. Our nutrition services has taken an active role making several operational changes necessary to encourage healthier food behaviors for our patients, staff, and visitors. As part of these on-going changes, we will be modifying the availability and pricing of our sugar-sweetened beverages.

As a healthcare organization, we recognize the importance of educating our patients, staff and visitors about the benefits of maintaining a healthy diet to help prevent or manage chronic conditions and to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

We will be implementing the change in 3 different ways:

1. Reduce availability of beverage options that contain added sugars to reduce overall consumption.
2. Revise pricing to create incentive to encourage purchasing lower-sweetened beverages.
3. We will include educational messaging where these products are distributed, including: cafeteria, vending, catering and patient service areas.

Beginning May 15th, all locations where beverages are sold at retail will be labeled in a “stoplight” color-code format. The color and pricing updates for bottled beverages will be as follows:

RED BEVERAGES - drink rarely or never - will be increased to $1.95
YELLOW BEVERAGES - drink occasionally - will be reduced to $1.50
GREEN BEVERAGES - drink plenty - will be reduced to $1.25 (currently priced $1.65 to $1.75)

Our goal is to make YELLOW and GREEN beverage choices more plentiful than RED beverages. Varieties of RED beverages will be reduced and additional choices of YELLOW and GREEN will be introduced. In all likelihood, the soda fountain could be changed by summer to dispense only YELLOW and/or GREEN products.

We saw great success using these methods when applied to fresh vegetables, fruit and yogurt, sweets and desserts we provide. Our hope is that through this ongoing effort, people will apply these habits to their consumption and purchasing habits both at home and at work and will support healthier lifestyles and better overall health.