Together toward a healthy food culture within Vitalité Health Network: Phase 2 underway

Bathurst, Monday, November 26, 2018 – Phase 2 of the Plan to Improve the Quality of Foods within Vitalité Health Network will soon be in place.  During this phase, the measures being implemented will focus on the consumption of healthy beverages throughout the Network’s facilities.

According to Linda Sunderland, Director of Professional Services, a great deal has been accomplished over the past year to improve patients’ regular menus in all Network facilities. Phase 2 of the project is designed to replace sugary drinks with healthy ones. “We take patients’ health seriously. When we know that a 350 mL soft drink contains approximately eight teaspoons of sugar and that sugar leads to a whole range of health problems recognized by medical science, the least we can do is to discourage the public and patients from consuming such drinks. This is why we have decided to eliminate all sugary drinks, energy drinks and drinks containing sweeteners from all our facilities,” Ms. Sunderland explained. “These drinks will be replaced by water, milk and 100 percent pure fruit juices distributed in smaller formats,” she added, mentioning that the initiative should be fully completed by the end of December 2018.

This new initiative follows Phase 1 of the project, which was launched in 2015 and has enabled the elimination of deep-fried foods, the gradual reduction of saturated and trans fats and the addition of fibre-rich cereal products to patients’ menus.

The Network acknowledges that full implementation of all the elements of its vision for a healthy food culture still remains a ways off. “I am entirely satisfied with our progress to date. However, much work remains to be done before we can declare mission accomplished,” stated Gilles Lanteigne, President and CEO of the Network. Indeed, two other phases remain to be implemented in coming years targeting processed foods and foods high in trans fats. The last phase of this action plan is to be launched in March 2021.