NHS targets obesity with 250-calorie limit on confectionery sold in hospitals


17 Oct 2017 --- Super-size chocolate bars and “grab bags” of sugar-laden snacks will be banned in UK hospitals as part of the NHS’ latest plan to fight obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. NHS England has announced a 250-calorie limit on confectionery sold in hospital canteens, stores, vending machines and other outlets as the British healthcare service, Europe’s largest employer, forges ahead with steps to curb the availability of unhealthy food and drinks that are fueling an obesity crisis.

Under the new plan, hospital chiefs across the UK will have to ensure that four out of five items purchased on their premises do not bust the limit, or else they may lose out on funding ring-fenced for improving the health of staff, patients and their visitors, NHS England reports.

“The NHS is now stepping up action to combat the ‘super-size’ snack culture which is causing an epidemic of obesity, preventable diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and cancer,” NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens says. “In place of calorie-laden, sugary snacks we want to make healthier food an easy option for hospital staff, patients and visitors.”

According to NHS England, in 2018/2019 health services will get financial incentives if they make further efforts. These currently include:

  • 80 percent of confectionery and sweets stocked do not exceed 250 kcal.
  • 75 percent of pre-packed sandwiches and other savory pre-packed meals to contain 400 kcal or less per serving and do not exceed five grams of saturated fat per 100g.
  • 80 percent of drinks line stocked must have less than 5g of added sugar per 100ml.

In recent months, the NHS has already taken action to remove price promotions and stop sales at checkouts of sugary drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt; end advertisements of these foods on NHS premises; and ensure healthy food options are available at all times, including for those people working night shifts.

In April, NHS England announced that leading UK retailers – including Marks & Spencer, the SUBWAY brand, Medirest, ISS and the Royal Voluntary Service – have agreed to continue to voluntarily reduce sales of sugar-laden drinks to 10 percent or less of their total drinks sales within hospitals over the coming year.

“Our shops, cafes and on-ward trolley services in England and Wales meet the current CQUIN requirements and we welcome the decision of NHS England to put these new measurements in place,” says Andrew Roberts, Business Enterprise Manager for Royal Voluntary Service.

“We took an early lead on the NHS workforce healthy agenda by introducing our Healthier Choices program, and it is already having a significant effect on consumer behavior” Roberts adds. “In the first quarter of 2017, year-on-year sales of fruit increased by 25 percent, healthier chilled snacks like salad and sushi by 55 percent and healthier sweet and savory snacks like popcorn and dried fruit by 109 percent.”

“We will be implementing these new guidelines and are hopeful that they will result in healthier food being a more consistent feature in all hospital retailers,” Roberts concludes.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

Low vitamin D intakes among UK South Asians point to urgent need for public health strategies: study

26 Jun 2018 --- A new study in the journal Public Health Nutrition has shown that the UK South-Asian population’s vitamin D levels are severely lacking, pointing to the urgent need for public health strategies to tackle low intakes of this micronutrient. Using data from the UK Biobank, researchers from the University of Surrey examined the vitamin D intake of UK South Asian adults through diet and supplementation. This population group traditionally has inadequate vitamin D levels in due to their darker skin pigmentation, low sun exposure to the skin due to dress coverage and a tendency to avoid the sun.

Health & Nutrition News

“Shockingly” salty salads on UK high street, lobby group calls for action

19 Jun 2018 --- A nationwide product survey by UK lobby group Action on Salt highlights the high salt and saturated fat levels of restaurant, retail and fast food salads. The group, based at the Wolfson Institute, Barts & The London, Queen Mary University of London, found that the salt content of salads bought from restaurants, sandwich/coffee shops and fast food outlets has increased by 13 percent since they were last surveyed in 2014 (from 1.65g to 1.86g per serving on average), flagging “a distinct lack of commitment” from the food industry to reduce salt, according to the group.

Health & Nutrition News

British Nutrition Foundation: UK adults have lack of time for nutrition, “confusion” is widespread

13 Jun 2018 --- New research from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) reveals that 43 percent of adults admit that they find it difficult to find reliable information on healthy diets, with changing information, messages and advice from media and experts being the biggest causes for confusion (76 percent and 61 percent respectively). UK adults also show a desire for health and weight management but find that work stress and lack of time are barriers to this.

Health & Nutrition News

British Nutrition Foundation: “Disappointing” nutrition habits of UK kids calls for stronger food education 

11 Jun 2018 --- New research from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) reveals that 60 percent of 11 to 16 year-olds buy foods such as fries or fried chicken at least once a week, while almost a third cited that they drink at least one energy drink a week. The stats draw attention to the need for stronger nutritional education among children, as they increasingly seek information from sources such as social media and the internet.

Health & Nutrition News

UK Vegan Society calls for vegan public service catering

22 Mar 2018 --- Today the Vegan Society celebrates NHS Sustainability Day by launching a new campaign calling on UK public services to provide “tasty, nutritious” vegan meals. They are also debuting a vegan menu for UK hospitals through a newly registered hospital caterer, Anglia Crown. The campaign, Catering for Everyone, aims to ensure the needs of vegans are met in public sector institutions, and that vegan menu options are increased.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/nhs-targets-obesity-with-250-calorie-limit-on-confectionery-sold-in-hospitals.html