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Sugary drinks cut from sports centres

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016

A sugar hit after a workout will soon be a thing of the past at Auckland leisure centres as Auckland Council looks to shake up its vending machine choices.

Sugary drinks, which make up three quarters of current drink options, will be replaced with water, unflavoured milk and natural fruit juices at 21 centres between July and October as the council looks to encourage people to favour healthier options.

"We're not telling people what to drink, but we are offering them better choices in our facilities that are focused on health," council chief executive Stephen Town said on Wednesday.

The move has the support of both athletes and politicians.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman praised the council's support of the Healthy Families NZ programme, which encourages healthy food choices, physical activity and alcohol in moderation among its messages.

"The initiative challenges communities to think differently about how to address the underlying causes of poor health at a local level," he said.

World Amateur and NZ National Body Board champion Mihi Nemani said it would remove another obstacle for the community in a place that promotes and supports healthier lifestyles.

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