I was delighted to read an article in The Times of India that told of hospitals in Wales that made the decision to ban all sugary drinks, which also meant no sugar for tea.  However, they will provide artificial sweeteners, which, unless it’s stevia, defeats the health-boosting properties of tea, as traditional artificial sweeteners are carcinogenic.

In creating an environment in which it is easier for people to make healthy choices, the hospitals in Wales are moving in the right direction.  We have seen this in hospitals in the U.S. over the years as well.  The hospital where my daughter was born used to house a McDonald’s.  That was removed years ago.  In addition, schools are removing soda from vending machines and introducing healthy options.

Looking toward England, the news is not as good.  A spokesperson from the Department of Health thought it was doubtful that a ban on sugar would happen in the U.K.  “Some people are used to having their tea with sugar.  My worry would be it would put them off tea all together and there are lots of health benefits from tea,” said Dr. Carrie Ruxton, of the Tea Advisory Panel.

If this is the conclusion of a doctor who is on the Tea Advisory Panel, it’s no wonder the Brits are still way behind the rest of the world in their green tea consumption.  Educating the masses about healthy herbal sweeteners, such as stevia, should do the trick.  Helping to shift the country toward green tea consumption, in addition to their traditional black tea, would be helpful as well.  I read that for the first time in history, Brits were increasing their green tea consumption, so there is movement in a positive direction.  If the conservative British can do it, there’s hope for everyone else.