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Jun 18, 2015 05:41 PM EDT

UCSF To Ban Sugary Drinks On Campus

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The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) will ban the sale of sugary drinks on its campus beginning July 1, school officials announced.

The public institution, which only offers programs in the health professions, announced last month that it is launching a healthy beverage initiative that will align campus food and drink sales with the school's effort "to encourage students and employees to make healthy decisions" about the amount of sugar they consumer, Inside Higher Ed reported.

"We want to walk the talk, so I do think we have that added responsibility as a health sciences campus," Clare Shinnerl, the associate vice chancellor of campus life services, is quoted as saying by Inside Higher Ed.   

Starting next month, on-campus vendors will no longer sell sugary beverages, opting instead to sell only zero-calorie beverages or non-sweetened drinks with nutritional value, such as milk and 100 percent juice. The university will also phase out the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in its onsite cafeterias, this includes sodas and energy drinks, Campus Reform reported.

According to Inside Higher Ed, this initiative is a result of a study published in Nature in 2012 that cites "excess sugar consumption as "one of the main causes for major health issues."

"The science behind the impact of excessive sugar on chronic disease, particularly in the form of sweetened beverages, is already strong and growing," UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, said in a statement. "As a health sciences university and leading medical center, we see it as our responsibility to do our part to help reduce this impact on our own community."

The program will begin at the school's Mission Bay campus site, where UCSF Medical Center piloted the project when it opened its three new specialty hospitals in February. It will roll out across further campus sites throughout the summer, culminating at the Parnassus campus site in October.

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