Tameside Hospital becomes first to ban all sugary drinks and snacks

09/01/2018 - 10:21
A hospital in Manchester has become the first NHS Trust to introduce a complete ban on sugary drinks and snacks in a bid to curb obesity and tooth decay among patients and staff.

Tameside Hospital in Ashton-under-Lyne has removed fizzy drinks from its canteen and vending machines with the only drinks now available being tea, coffee, milk and water.

The hospital has taken sugary snacks such as crisps and chocolate off of its menu along with removing added sugar from its meals.

The move follows NHS England’s warning to hospitals and suppliers that a ban on sugar will be made compulsory across NHS trusts if action is not taken to reduce sales of sugary drinks by the end of March 2018.

14 national suppliers have signed up to the voluntary scheme including WH Smith, Marks & Spencer, Greggs and the Royal Voluntary Service, who have all committed to reducing sales of sugary drinks to 10% or less of sold beverages.

As of last week, 141 of 232 NHS Trusts had signed up to the initiative.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England, said: “Hospitals should play an important role in preventing obesity, not just treating it.

“Plans to offer healthier food and restrict less healthy options are a positive step towards tackling the country’s obesity problem.”

Tameside Hospital's move to outlaw unhealthy snacks was made following the success of a 12-week Slimpod programme which saw members of staff eat healthier on shift.

Chief executive, Karen James, said: “My staff work very hard. Long hours and shift patterns often make it very difficult for people to make healthy choices, so they opt for the instant sweet fixes, which until today have been readily available.

"These are dedicated healthcare professionals who believe they should be role models for their patients but the food environment has been working against them.”

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