As a citizen of Asheville concerned for the health of all the patients, visitors, employees and staff of Mission Hospital; the students, visitors, faculty and staff of all public and private schools of Buncombe County; and the residents and staff at stand-alone medical and nursing home facilities in the area, I am calling for a complete removal of sugary beverages from all campuses throughout Asheville and Buncombe County. This includes the kitchens, vending machines and gift shops, and includes drinks such as sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks.
Health concerns in the news have been exposing one after another link to the increase of sugary beverages in the diet, adding to the obesity pandemic worldwide, not to mention the astronomical rise in diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases.
Having flavored seltzer water beverages on clear-liquid diet trays is a perfect alternative. They have a slight fruity flavor with no sugar and none of the aftertaste of diet sodas. As for diet sodas, the science is also panning out that they provide an insulin spike, adding to insulin resistance, furthering the aforementioned health problems.
Sugary beverages should not be served, even by concession stands, at school sporting events. Again, a general ban from the campuses.
I know this is extreme, but I am looking toward the health and the future of our children and basic common sense for medical facilities.
There is a growing call for a sugar tax in communities, and many countries have even instituted them, such as the U.K., France and Denmark, among others. Many cities in America have already instituted sugar taxes to start to combat the problem of sugar consumption, including Berkeley, Calif., Philadelphia and Seattle, just to name a few. I think Asheville should be the first city in the Southeast, before Atlanta or Charlotte, to institute one!
As it is, I’m calling to start at home by removing sugary beverages from medical and educational facilities across Buncombe County.
— Rebecca Bellospirito, RN