CentraCare Removes Sugary Drinks as Part of New Health Efforts

ST. CLOUD -- CentraCare Health is leading by example with a new health initiative.

The health care organization has removed all sugary drinks, such as pop and energy drinks, from their vending machines, coolers and dispensers at all locations.

Dr. Janet Handrigan, CentraCare's Medical Director of Wellness, says as a health organization, they felt they needed to practice what they preach. "CentraCare is a health care facility," said Handrigan. "Our idea is to promote health and prevent disease. We need to look at a culture of health and how do we do that, we need to be role models."

She says obesity is the number one cause of preventable diseases, and added sugar is the main source of the problem. "In the last 40-years sugar consumption has greatly increased. Through sugar-sweetened beverages the average American consumes 39 pounds of sugar per year."

CentraCare has replaced sugary drinks with healthier options, which are available to employees, volunteers, physicians, visitors and patients.

Video: http://wjon.com/centracare-removing-sugary-drinks-as-part-of-new-health-efforts/