Hospital should restrict sale of sugary beverages [UPDATED]Published 9:21am Friday, April 19, 2013 Updated 11:22am Friday, April 19, 2013
In an April 14, 2013 editorial regarding the sale of sweetened soda at Lake Region Health Care in Fergus Falls, the editor takes a laissez-faire attitude regarding the choice of individuals whether or not to buy sugar-saturated beverages available for purchase within the facility.
Or should they advocate for the health and welfare of patients, visitors and anyone passing through, by discontinuing the sale of these addictive, unhealthful beverages?
Recently the long-term effects of consuming massive amounts of sugar, usually in beverages, has been identified as a major factor in the obesity epidemic currently raging in the United States, especially noticeable in children and young people.
Health care professionals note that obesity among the young often leads to serious medical problems in later life.
This subject is just beginning to be discussed as a major health concern that needs to be addressed.
I am surprised that The Daily Journal has taken the position that people should make their own choices regarding the food and beverages they consume while within the Lake Region Health Care facility, an institution dedicated to the health of the community. Should not this institution be taking a leadership role in attitudes toward healthier habits? Is the health care community here just to bind up wounds after the damage is done, or to help prevent damage in the first place by setting a better example?
I understand the Fergus Falls school system has stopped selling sweetened pop in the schools. Good for them. That was a wise and responsible decision.
I hope other institutions in a position to do so will follow suit. Americans are alarmed over the dramatic increase in the cost of health care. Our country is facing an enormous economic challenge in the not so distant future, with rapidly growing health care costs to be paid for through Medicare and Medicaid. You and I help pay those costs with our taxes.
Public policy that encourages healthy life styles makes sense and could help control health care costs long range. People making their own choices, as The Daily Journal recommends, is certainly the best way most of the time, but when those choices adversely affect long term health care costs, paid for in part with taxpayer money?
People can choose to drink pop at home, in restaurants and fast food places, or buy it at grocery stores and drug stores, but do they need to buy and consume it at the Health Care Center? That seems counter- intuitive to me.
Liz Sweder, Fergus Falls