May 30, 2013
Eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages in the workplace
Girls Inc., who recently joined Partners for a Healthy City, implemented an initiative to serve no sugar-sweetened beverages on any of their properties.
“At first it was hard on staff, but we realize how much better it is for us,” said Carolyn Green, Director of Health Access for Girls Inc. “Now, we are used to drinking water or 100% juice. It has carried over into my personal life, and I feel wonderful not having all that sugar in my life.”
Girls Inc.’s healthy story goes beyond the policy of not serving sugar-sweetened drinks. A health committee was formed bringing staff together twice a week for 15 minutes, to get up and get moving and for passing along healthy eating tips.
“We have added a little fun to the period by blowing a whistle over the loud speaker to get everyone’s attention,” Green explained. “Staff now knows that the sound of the whistle will be followed by instructions, such as meet at the gym or put on your coats and walk around the block. We have also created some sit-at-your-desk exercises and will be making some fun, healthy foods such as smoothies. Everything is simple and can be done in about 15 minutes.”
The program started with the full-time staff and now is growing to include the part-time staff. The plan is to incorporate the girls who attend Girls Inc. in this activity.