SAN FRANCISCO—On June 11, it was announced that all sugar-sweetened beverages would be removed from the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban advertisements and sales of these drinks on all publicly owned properties. The chief executive officer of SFGN, Sue Currin, released a statement in an interview, staying that the change will support the health of the community by offering healthier beverages that do not promote obesity, tooth decay, and chronic disease, heart disease and diabetes.

San Francisco General Hospital, Medical Center.
San Francisco General Hospital, Medical Center.

This new policy was initiated from the passing of a legislation that made San Francisco the first U.S. jurisdiction to require the placement of health warning labels on soda, and to ban sugar-sweetened beverage advertisements on publicly owned property. As defined by the city, a “sugar-sweetened beverage” is a beverage with one or more added caloric sweeteners, containing more than 25 calories per 12 ounces of beverage.

The exceptions to this definition are milk, 100 percent fruit and/or vegetable juices, infant formula, and medical and supplemental meal replacements.

Under this new policy, sodas and other sweetened beverages will not longer be served with patient meals or sold in the cafeteria, vending machines, gift shops, or food trucks.

Per request of many patients, SFGN officials will allow diet soft drinks to be available. Linda Acosta, an organizer of Summerfest, stated that they are aware of the health concerns with diet soda, but because diet sodas are usually calorie free, they are exempt from the city’s new legislation.