Dear Members of the UCSF Community:
This summer marks the launch of an important program here at UCSF in our effort to translate science into better health for our own community.
Starting July 1, the campus and medical center will begin rolling out a Healthy Beverages Initiative across campus, starting at Mission Bay and culminating in October at Parnassus. Under the program, UCSF will sell a variety of zero-calorie waters, plain milk, coffee, tea, diet beverages and 100% pure fruit juice in our vending machines, coffee kiosks, cafeterias and eateries on our property and will eliminate sales of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The program has gained input from a broad group of faculty, staff and vendors on campus, including scientists who have been involved with the UCSF-led SugarScience initiative over the past year. That group reviewed more than 8,000 scientific papers and identified the most definitive science about the impact of sugar on our health, specifically the role of excess sugar in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and dental caries.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are not only the single largest source of added sugar in our diets, but also the source with the strongest link to the leading chronic diseases in America: diabetes, heart disease and dental caries. With such strong scientific evidence and so many of our patients suffering from these diseases, it seemed appropriate for UCSF to take action.
While we are not the first to do this, I hope we will all take pride in having the broadest health vision. More than thirty health systems and hospitals nationwide already have launched similar efforts – including Seattle Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford – but to our knowledge, UCSF is the first to institute this strategy across both its medical center and campus.
UCSF’s Food & Nutrition Services already has made enormous strides by opening our new Mission Bay hospitals without sugar-sweetened beverages. These beverages also were removed from the Mount Zion hospital cafeteria. You will still be able to bring these beverages with you to campus, but we hope you’ll join us in working toward a healthier workforce and broader community.
To learn more about UCSF’s Healthy Beverage Initiative please go to http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2015/05/129901/ucsf-launches-health-beverage-initiative and visit HealthyBeverages.ucsf.edu or contact Employee Wellness Manager Leeane Jensen, at Leeane.Jensen@ucsf.edu, or Manager – Nutrition & Food Services Lisa Faucon, at Lisa.Faucon@ucsf.edu.
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor
Mark R. Laret
President and Chief Executive Officer