I brought my things and tried to head outside to get some fresh air, but this managed care hospital is like a four-story maze, and I couldn't find the exit. Instead, I found the cafeteria; figuring an icy cold caffeinated Coke would take the edge off. I, however, was disappointed when I got to the self-serve soda machine and realized they didn't have Coke. They had Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Sprite, Tab (I didn't even think they made Tab anymore), and various caffeine-free versions of the above mentioned. I walked away from the machine to the fridge holding bottles of cold drinks thinking I'd find a regular Coke in there. No such luck. I do not care for the taste of the diet soda products. There's something about the sugar substitute that just tastes terrible to me. So I ditched my icy soda plan and grabbed a cold bottle of water instead.
Upon taking it to the cashier I asked her about the lack of regular Coke. She chuckled, "Yes, they have us all on a diet here. There are only diet sodas and fruit juice." I didn't think anything about it as this managed care organization is known for its overall health PR. I found a seat in the cafeteria, opened my bottle and read my book happy to not be breaking down every time someone walked into the room. But while thinking about the concept of only having diet sodas in the cafeteria because they are supposedly healthier than the regular started to bother me. I completely get that soda is not good for you, and I have no problem with a business, especially one in the health business, not to sell it. But if we are looking at health on a wider scale like this business supposedly does, how can one justify diet soda with all its fake sugar and chemicals as a healthy alternative. Sure, there are less calories in it, but let's be honest, it's not any better for you. I'd have more respect for their healthy stance if they kept all sodas out of their hospital rather than deciding one poor health option was less bad for you than another.