22 Apr, 2016 Last updated: 22 Apr, 2016

VicHealth is encouraging Victorian manufacturing, construction, trade, retail and hospitality workplaces to sign up for the H30 Challenge and reap the health rewards.

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VicHealth is encouraging Victorian manufacturing, construction, trade, retail and hospitality workplaces to sign up for the H30 Challenge and reap the health rewards.

VicHealth’s H30 Challenge encourages people to make a simple 30-day pledge to replace every sugary drink they would normally drink, with water.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of sugars in the Australian diet and high intake of these sugary drinks are associated with poorer health.

Sugary drinks include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, ready-to-drink iced tea, flavoured water and cordial.

Men aged 25-34 years in manual labor jobs have been identified as high consumers of sugary drinks and are a target for the campaign.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said it was important for Victorian workplaces to play an active role in supporting the health of their employees.

"We’re encouraging Victorian workplaces to promote the H30 Challenge and support their staff to make the pledge and replace sugary drinks with water for 30 days,” Ms Rechter said.

“A regular 600mL bottle of soft drink contains about 16 teaspoons of sugar and there are around 11 teaspoons in a sports drink. You wouldn’t put this much sugar in your morning coffee yet many people are unknowingly consuming such high amounts on a daily basis.”

“With nearly two-thirds of Victorians currently overweight or obese, reducing intake of excess kilojoules through sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is one way to promote a healthier diet and improve health, prevent tooth decay and save money.”

"We know that many organisations are keen to support the health and wellbeing of their employees but are unsure where to start. The H30 Challenge is free, easy to sign up and the great thing is that workmates can support each other along the way."

Participants can join VicHealth’s H30 Challenge at any time convenient for them, for a 30-day period.

Individuals can sign up at www.h30challenge.com.au/workplace by 31 May to go into the draw to win one of three RedBalloon vouchers.

For more information or to take part in the Challenge, visit www.h30challenge.com.au/workplace.