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Published October 09, 2012, 07:49 PM

Duluth hospital system won’t sell sugary drinks

DULUTH - St. Luke’s hospital is becoming the first hospital in the state to eliminate the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages from all of its properties.

By: Forum Communications, INFORUM

DULUTH – St. Luke’s hospital is becoming the first hospital in the state to eliminate the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages from all of its properties.

“What we’re learning from data that’s out there is that sugar-sweetened beverages are a significant contributor to obesity,” said Mark Branovan, director of hospitality at St. Luke’s.

St. Luke’s administrators decided on Sept. 17 to stop selling the products, Branovan said, but the ban hasn’t been fully implemented.

“We’re shooting for Nov. 1,” Branovan said. “It’s a short transition period. We have to run the product out. … We have to bring new selections in and equipment in. We also have some patient menus that have Coca Cola and Sprite. We have to reprint some of our menus.”

The ban applies to every clinic across the St. Luke’s system as well as its main campus in Duluth, Branovan said.

Familiar products still will be available at St. Luke’s, Branovan said. That includes Diet Coke, already the hospital’s best seller. All-natural, no-sugar-added juices, Diet Snapple and flavored seltzer waters are being added to the mix, he said.

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