Healthy Choices Strategy

The following comments are attributed to Director Community
Life Robyn Stevens:

How many community cafes and canteens
has the Council phased out soft drink in?

The City
received a grant from VicHealth to support a reduction in the amount of soft
drink promotion in City-operated leisure centres. Two facilities have
completely removed all category red sugar-sweetened beverages, in accordance
with Victorian Government guidelines.

Will soft drink and other sugary drinks be phased out in all of council’s community cafes and canteens by the end of the year?

The VicHealth grant aims for all leisure and recreation facilities owned and operated by the City to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages to 20 per cent or less of all drinks.

Two facilities have completed removed sugary drinks, with five others under the target.

Which of council’s canteens and cafes have phased out sugary drinks and which are yet to do so?

We are proud to say that both The Arena and Lara Pool facilities have completely removed sugary drinks from their fridges.

How many more community cafes and
canteens are yet to have soft drink phased out?

The City will
continue to work with all our owned and operated leisure and recreation
facility cafes and canteens to ensure they continue to reduce and maintain
removal of sugar-sweetened beverages into the future. This year, we will also
encourage all other leisure and recreation facilities in Geelong to follow our

What has the community reaction been to
the plan?

as part of this funding, Deakin University has surveyed our leisure and
recreation customers. From the last survey in 2018, 80 per cent of staff and 80
per cent of customers agreed that sports and recreation facilities have a
responsibility to promote healthy eating; and 43 per cent of staff and 68 per
cent of customers agreed that removing sugary drinks from sports and recreation
facilities will lead to reduced consumption in the community.

What are the reasons behind the
Council’s plan to phase out soft drinks?

Reducing sugary
drink consumption forms part of the Victorian Government’s Public Health and
Wellbeing Plan for Victoria. Most Geelong adults drink less than eight glasses
of water each day, and 16.4 percent consume sugar-sweetened drinks daily. Over
half of Geelong adults are either overweight or obese.

A recent
Victorian Population Health Survey ranked Greater Geelong as the sixth highest
consumer of soft drinks in Victoria. By
providing and highlighting healthy choices, the City anticipates positive
health outcomes over time. For example, in one facility availability of sugar
in our fridge reduced by 70 per cent.

Under council’s plan, will the phase out of sugary drinks also occur at local sporting clubs?

The City is providing material to other clubs and facilities to encourage them to implement these changes.

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