Going soft drink free - good for health and for business

Going soft drink free - good for health and for business

The YMCA is providing the evidence to help inspire other organisations to eliminate sugary drinks from their premises.

The YMCA is implementing the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices guidelines in 70 recreation centres across 24 local government areas. As part of this effort, they launched the ‘Soft drink free summer’ campaign which successfully phased out sugary soft drinks from all of their centres by December 2015.

In partnership with VicHealth and Deakin University, they measured the impact of this campaign across nine of these centres. They looked at the impact on the purchases made by visitors and staff, as well as the financial impact on their food businesses.

The good news is there was a decrease in soft drink purchases that equated to around 2,000 fewer cans of sugary drinks sold at these nine sites alone, or 757 litres less soft drink consumed by visitors and staff each month.

The better news is there was not only a decrease in soft drink purchases, but also an increase in purchases of healthier drinks. So, overall, there was no change in beverage sales between June 2015 and May 2016.

"The Y" has shown great leadership in removing sugary soft drinks and sharing these learnings across Victoria.

For more information, see the evaluation summary and the Healthy Choices guidelines.

And tell us how your organisation is encouraging healthier food and drink choices.
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