The hospital is in the process of phasing out sugary beverages.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Norton Healthcare is in the process of phasing out sugary beverages for all patients.
Norton's is the first health care system in the Louisville Metro to stop serving sugar-sweetened drinks in patient meals. Those include any drink with added sweeteners such as sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, such as regular soft drinks.
The typical 20 ounce soft drink contains 16 teaspoons of sugar. This decision is all part of creating an environment of healthy food and drink choices.
"There are a wide variety of choices that are available to patients," said Dr. Sandra Brooks, Norton Healthcare System Vice President, Research and Prevention. "As a health system we are trying to model healthy behavior and really understand that excess sugar contributes to chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes."
Not everyone is too keen on this decision. "I don't think that people should be able to tell people what they should eat or drink," said Tommy Hembrey, Louisville.
Joseph Powell is currently a patient at Norton, while he doesn't drink soda, he thinks people should have the option while in the hospital.
"As long as they are allowed to have them, I'm diabetic so I can't have them, so it really don't bother me, but I think they should be able to drink what they want," said Powell.
Others are on board with the new idea and believe in this day and time, it is necessary. "I think it is a wonderful idea being a diabetic myself the less temptation you have, the better off you'll be," said Linda Cochran, Louisville.
Dr. Brooks says this is just another way Norton is moving towards promoting a healthier life style.
"We started with our tobacco free environment several years ago," said Brooks. "We have walking paths, we encourage our employees to see a primary care physician. We have discounted memberships at gyms and exercise on campus, so it was really one of many things we are doing to try to create a healthier environment for both our patients and our employees."
Brooks says adult patients can still request ginger ale if needed for an upset stomach and pediatric patients can still have slushies.
Norton Healthcare serves more than half a million meals to patients each year. In addition to healthy drinks, meals will also be more often broiled or baked, include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and have less sodium and calories.
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