Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

MV & VicHealth phase out sugary drinks

Minister Mikakos (at right) with families at the Museum. Source: VicHealth.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos, Sugary Drinks To Be Phased Out At Melbourne Museums, Premiers Department Victoria, 8 November 2019

Sugary drinks will be removed from fridges at all three museums across Melbourne in a new bid to prevent childhood obesity.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today welcomed a move by Museums Victoria and VicHealth to phase out sugary drinks at the Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum and Scienceworks by the end of year.

The change will apply to all sweetened drinks at retail food outlets and all vending machines will also be removed. Museums Victoria will install new water fountains in their place at all three sites.

This move will make a big difference for the 1.7 million people who visit the three museums every year, especially the 255,000 children who take part in the museum’s educational programs.

A third of Victorian children are drinking sugary drinks multiple times through the week. We also know almost a quarter of Victorian children are overweight or obese.

The Healthy Eating Advisory Service and Healthy Choice Guidelines are making sure healthy food and drinks are promoted in places like hospitals, health services, sport and recreation facilities, parks and workplaces.

The Andrews Labor Government introduced a kilojoule labelling scheme for large food chain outlets in May 2018 so Victorians can make informed choices about the foods and drinks they are purchasing.

The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2019-2023 is Victoria’s vision for creating a healthier state and breaking down barriers to healthier lifestyles.

The plan targets the key challenges to the future health of Victorians, such as smoking and obesity – which remain the two leading causes of preventable disease in Victoria. It identifies initiatives that tackle obesity by making it easier for Victorians to eat better and be more active every day.

The Labor Government invests more than $8.1 million every year into obesity prevention initiatives.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Sugary drinks have lots of excess kilojoules and little to no nutritional value. That’s why I congratulate Museums Victoria and VicHealth for leading the way in the fight against rising rates of childhood obesity.”

“Despite our best efforts, kids are too often exposed to sugary drinks, and we all know the pester power that can be felt when a child spots a sugary drink in the fridge.”

“Tackling obesity requires efforts across all levels of government, industry and the community and it’s great to see innovative thinking like this giving Victorians healthy options.”

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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