Duluth, MN (KDAL) - Essentia Health is going sugar-free. The Duluth-based company has begun phasing out sugar-sweetened beverages at its downtown Duluth and Superior campuses. Essentia Pediatrician Dr. Anne Stephen says sugary drinks (quote) “…are a significant source of empty calories…” (end quote) and they contribute to our nation’s obesity epidemic. Sugar-sweetened beverages will be available to patients by request as long as they’re not prohibited by their doctor. Essentia says it will continue to serve and sell water, low-fat and non-fat milk, unsweetened teas and coffees, 100-percent fruit and vegetable juices and diet sodas.