Rady Children's Hospital | Campaign Encourages Drinking Healthy Beverages

In 2012, Rady Children’s Hospital’s greatest achievement was an initiative to reduce sales of sugar sweetened beverages and to educate their patients, staff and visitors about healthy beverage choices.  To achieve this objective, Rady embarked on a three-month planning period that involved researching case studies nationwide, conducting an employee survey, and forming a multi-disciplinary advisory group and smaller work team to collect baseline data.  This effort included rekeying the cash registers and retraining food service cashiers.

Based on its findings, Rady tailored a “Rethink Your Drink” campaign to meet the needs of its system.  In addition to utilizing a red-yellow-green stoplight beverage labeling concept to rate the health of various beverages, they also conducted educational sessions, policy development and environmental changes.  SSB’s were eliminated from catering and patient menus. Rethink Your Drink flyers and posters were added to the parent and staff room service menu and admissions packet, and the campaign was incorporated into hospital functions. 

Within the first quarter of this initiative, Rady has met its 30% reduction goal as per HHI’s Healthy Food Challenge.  The hospital continues to examine the purchasing trends of employees and visitors, design educational materials, and expand outreach efforts into the community.