A SMALL step towards addressing Australia’s obesity epidemic was taken by Eurobodalla Shire Council this week when it resolved to stop providing sugar sweetened carbonated drinks at council functions and events and to work with the community to develop an action plan to tackle the significant rates of overweight and obesity in Eurobodalla.
The motion to remove soft drinks from council functions and events was made by councillor Peter Schwarz after the council-sponsored Live Life Eurobodalla Obesity Time Bomb forum in October revealed that 66 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women in our local health district are overweight and obese.
Council’s Divisional Manager for Community, Arts and Recreation, Kathy Arthur, said every year more than 300 residents are hospitalised in Eurobodalla with weight-related conditions and 20 die from them.
“This has a significant social and economic impact on our community and as a local leader, council has decided to be part of the solution by setting a healthy example,” Ms Arthur said.
She said this week’s decision will mean sugar sweetened carbonated drinks will not be provided at events such as council’s annual Australia Day festivities or at functions held in the council chamber.
“In the future, new contracts for the management of council premises such as swimming pool canteens will also stipulate that they will not sell or provide these drinks,” Ms Arthur said.
“However, when council facilities are booked by community groups or others, they can provide and offer catering as they choose, as they do now,” she said.