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Action on sugary snacks in hospitals slashes calorie intake by 630 million

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By lealegraien@cogora.com
5 April 2018

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Slashing the sale of unhealthy snacks in hospitals has led to over 630 million fewer calories being consumed by NHS staff, patients and their friends and family, NHS England figures have revealed.

 

Hospitals’ action on sugary snacks including chocolate and unhealthy sandwiches led to 632 million fewer calories being consumed in just a year.

 

Slashing the sale of unhealthy snacks in hospitals has led to over 630 million fewer calories being consumed by NHS staff, patients and their friends and family, NHS England figures have revealed.

 

Hospitals’ action on sugary snacks including chocolate and unhealthy sandwiches led to 632 million fewer calories being consumed in just a year.

 

The figures come after NHS England instructed hospitals to stop selling super-size chocolate bars and ‘grab bags’ of sugary snacks, in a bid to tackle obesity, diabetesand tooth-decay last year.

 

Sugar ban

 

In January, NHS England warned hospitals and suppliers that if they did not take action on sugary drinks by the end of March 2018, a outright ‘ban would be introduced in 2018 instead’.

 

So far 152 of 232 NHS trusts signed up to the scheme to curb the sales of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), NHS England said.

 

NHS England is still in the process of collecting data to assess the whether this outright ban should be put in place.

 

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said that once the Easter eggs are gone, the NHS will be ‘getting on with ensuring hospitals and their retailers are offering healthier food and drinks for patients, relatives and staff’.

 

In 2016, he told the Guardian that a 20% tax on sugary drinks and foods in hospital cafes could be implemented by 2020. 

 

‘Growing obesity crisis’

 

NHS England national clinical director for diabetes and obesity Professor Jonathan Valabhjisaid that the growing obesity crisis sweeping the country is a ‘public health crisis’.

 

He added: ‘Obesity is associated with heart attacks, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and a number of other illnesses – causing personal suffering and costing the health service and in turn the taxpayer, billions every year.

 

‘And for all of those conditions, wherever possible, prevention is preferable to cure. Our own sugar restrictions, the new sugar tax and the NHS diabetes prevention programme, are all part of what needs to be a concerted effort to address obesity.’

 

According to NHS England, diabetes and its complications cost the system more than £6bn each year while nine in 10 people have Type 2 diabetes, which is the main risk factor for obesity.

 

Other encouraging results include 175,000 additional fruits sold in hospital stores and the introduction of healthier meal deals with no sandwiches over 400 calories.

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