Nova Scotia

Baddeck pharmacy's ban on sugary drinks yields surprise

One year ago, the Cape Breton town's local pharmacy decided to stop selling pop and sugary drinks to set an example for its customers. Here are the results.

University of Waterloo study finds 34 fewer kgs of sugar bought in community each week

One year ago, the Cape Breton town's local pharmacy decided to stop selling pop and sugary drinks to set an example for its customers. (The Canadian Press)

The results of a study into pop sales in Baddeck are surprising.

One year ago, the Cape Breton town's local pharmacy decided to stop selling pop and sugary drinks to set an example for its customers.

It expected sales at the local grocery store and convenience store to pick up, as a result.

Leia Minaker, who works at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo, decided to study the ban as part of her ongoing research into retail food environments.

She said those sales dropped between 11 and 21 per cent a week, over eight months.

"I did a few calculations and found that it is about a $354-per-week decline and if a two-litre bottle of pop cost $2, then I thought that's about 350 litres of pop per week that's not being bought in Baddeck anymore," Minaker said.

Minaker said that equals 34 fewer kilograms of sugar a week.

Pharmacist Graham MacKenzie said the results of the study are great news for the health of people in Baddeck. 

"When I see results showing that people aren't switching their buying to another store to buy pop means at least they got the message," he said.

"You know it's hard to imagine anything that would have that much of an impact on the habits of an entire village."

MacKenzie said his customers all supported his decision. He has now decided to replace some candy and bars with organic and gluten free products.

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