Patients and workers at Penn Medicine facilities will soon find it easier to avoid sugary drinks.
The health system will remove all beverages with added sugar from all Penn Medicine owned-and-operated facilities over the next several months. These changes are a part of an effort by the health system to make sure that the food it serves is healthy for patients coping with heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses, Penn Medicine said in a statement.
Soda, fruit-flavored drinks, sports drinks and sweetened coffee are among the beverages that will be removed from Penn Medicine hospitals. The sugary drinks will be replaced with diet, unsweetened versions of the nixed drinks, real fruit juice and flavored-waters.
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"Our work to prevent and care for patients with chronic conditions impacted by their diets includes educating them on healthy food and beverage choices — lessons which we believe should be mirrored by what we serve in our facilities," CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System Ralph Muller said.
Several hospitals in the system, including Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital and Chester County Hospital, are also making changes to the food they serve in an effort to align with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s “Good Food, Healthy Hospitals,” initiative.
Patients and visitors to the hospital will still be allowed to bring in their own beverages. Additionally, third-party vendors, such as Starbucks and Freshii, will still be able to serve sugar-sweetened drinks.