A Cape Breton pharmacy owner has banned pop and other sugary drinks from his store, saying he is increasingly seeing the health troubles that can be caused by poor diet.

As a pharmacist, Graham MacKenzie says he regularly sees the medical problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, that can be linked to a diet too high in sugar.

“We tell people don’t drink pop, don’t drink juice (but) on the way out the door, they’re walking by these pop machines,” says the owner of Stone’s Pharmasave in Baddeck, N.S. “It just didn’t make sense to me.”

Many of the drinks previously sold in Mackenzie’s pharmacy are loaded with sugar -- often the equivalent of nearly 10 teaspoons per can.

Also gone from MacKenzie’s pharmacy are sports drinks and vitamin water, leaving only bottled water and milk on the shelves.

“People really didn’t realize the effect that the sugar in these drinks had,” MacKenzie said. “So kids were going to school with a juice box, adults coming in that would consume a drink of pop every day.”

While some of MacKenzie’s regular customers were caught a bit off guard by the ban, for others, it’s a welcome change.

“The drug store is a place where you come to have your prescriptions filled and to have a product that actually enhances your health,” said Robert O’Hearn.

He says in the first couple of days, feedback has been mostly positive, and he’s hoping other pharmacies follow suit.

“We’re getting into a generation where children may be dying before their parents and it’s because of the diet we have, especially here in North America,” MacKenzie said.

Chocolate bars are still for sale at Stone’s, but MacKenzie said he’s looking to get rid of them, too.

With a report by CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald