University of San Francisco has banned sugary beverages (USF), in an effort to bring down consumption.
Excess sugar intake is linked to many health problems. Recent research has shown that high sugar intake can greatly increase heart disease risk, and a new MRI technique even confirmed that cancer cells feed on sugar.
“A piece of fruit, or even a treat like ice cream, isn’t going to cause you too much trouble… provided it truly is just that – a treat and not something that you overindulge in,” says Dr. Joseph Mercola, a leading health expert and physician. “Most Americans, however, are overindulging – and that’s putting it mildly. The average American consumes one-third of a pound of sugar per day, half of which is processed fructose.”
The public health researchers at USF have persuaded every vendor on campus to stop selling sugar sweetened beverages.
“It’s a sales ban, which means the university has opted out of the business of selling and profiting off of sugar-sweetened beverages,” said Laura Schmidt, a professor of health policy in the School of Medicine.
Schmidt was the brains behind the sales ban, which started last year, but took about 3 years to get everyone to agree.
“It’s a very, very big institution,” she explained, also adding she and her team went door to door to meet with people.
Visitors are free to bring in beverages if they want, or leave campus to buy them. However, the rule is that every food vendor on campus, including the Subway are not allowed to sell sugar-sweetened drinks.
“The definition of sugar-sweetened beverages is pretty standard at this point: It’s beverages with added sugars,” Schmidt explained. This includes sweetened coffee drinks, milkshakes, and fruit juices containing fructose.
As Americans, we have been conditioned to drinking beverages with added sugar, instead of learning to enjoy the delicious flavors of natural, unprocessed beverages.
“The happy surprise of it all is people actually realize they can reach for this delicious tea with a hint of mint in it, and it’s got no sugar in it, and it tastes great,” Schmidt said.
We applaud the University of San Francisco for taking a bold step, and we hope they set a trend for many schools across the country.
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1. “University Tries out Ban on Sweetened Beverages.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.
2. “UCSF Launches Healthy Beverage Initiative.” UC San Francisco. UCSF, 29 May 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.