Revamping the drink choices at Swan Hill District Health!

Revamping the drink choices at Swan Hill District Health!

Empowering staff to revitalise drinks in vending machines has led to an increase in healthy options by 20 per cent at Swan Hill District Health!

Swan Hill District Health (SHDH) achieved an important milestone by effectively putting the Healthy choices: policy directive into action. In Swan Hill, the consumption of sugary drinks surpasses the state average by 50 per cent. Therefore, SHDH is committed to setting an example for the community, taking a proactive approach to health promotion and the prevention of illnesses.

Implementing Healthy choices involved collaboration between the food service team, executive directors and the health promotion team and was essential for sourcing alternative products and communicating changes. This was a significant revamp, given that SHDH has over 600 staff and services a catchment area of 35,000 people. Developing and releasing engaging promotional content to increase staff awareness of the Policy directive was pivotal for success. This included writing an article for the staff newsletter, displaying visually appealing posters in the hospital and providing eye-catching plan-o-grams of the revitalised vending machines to food service staff.

Implementation of the Policy directive resulted in a 20 per cent increase in ‘ green’ drinks, a decrease in artificially sweetened and ‘ amber’ drinks and no ‘ red’ drinks. Meeting these targets enables SHDH to play an active role in reducing sugar drink consumption in the community.

SHDH is now working towards rejuvenating food available in the catering, cafeteria and vending machines.

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