Health organisations are calling for action to stop consumption of sugary drinks.
Health organisations are calling for action to stop consumption of sugary drinks. Contributed

CQ Health to review food and drink choices

A REVIEW of food and drink options at Central Queensland health facilities is currently under way with plans to roll out healthier options.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service commenced a project this month which will review the current food and drinks available for sale at its facilities, with the goal of aligning the available choices with Queensland Health Healthier Food and Drinks guidelines.

Earlier this year Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service ended the sale of selected sugary drinks at its facilities.

Drinks removed from WBHHS facilities include soft drinks, energy drinks, iced teas, flavoured milk over 500ml, cordials and flavoured/sweetened mineral waters.

 

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Vending machines could be inline for an overhaul.

While the CQHHS project is still in its infancy, Rockhampton Hospital executive director Wendy Hoey said staff and community engagement would play an important part in the consultation process.

"It will take time before the specifics of any changes to the food and drinks available for purchase are determined, but varying dietary requirements will certainly be considered and are an important factor in shaping the project outcomes," she said.

"The consumer engagement element of this project will help to highlight the needs of those in our community."

Ms Hoey said the CQHHS initiative was to tackle the region's growing obesity problem.

"The proportion of adult Central Queenslanders that are overweight or obese is 20 per cent higher than the state average," she said.

"Unfortunately, children are not excluded from this picture, with 24 per cent of Queensland children falling into the overweight or obese category.

"With high body mass ranking in the top three largest cause of disease, it is an important issue to address in our community.

"As a health service, it is important that we lead by example and do what we can to help ensure our staff and community have access to healthy food and drinks, and take opportunities to provide education to those who frequent our facilities."