We recently reported that childhood obesity rates are 10 times higher today than they were in 1975. This worrying trend is only set to continue unless more is done to tackle obesity in children.
So-called “sugar taxes” on soft drinks in various countries around the world and France’s decision to ban unlimited fizzy drinks in restaurants, fast food-chains, schools and holiday camps, are definitely steps in the right direction.
Now, hospitals in England have laid out plans to ban the sale of any sweets or chocolate that contain more than 250 calories. Going forward, super-sized chocolate bars will become a thing of the past in hospital vending machines and canteens.
In addition, pre-packed sandwiches with more than 450 calories and/or 5g of saturated fat per 100g will also be banned.
Hospitals will be given a cash boost to help them facilitate the changes.
The decision to ban fattening and sugary food products in hospitals is actually win-win for the National Health Service (NHS). These foods are major contributors to obesity and many other conditions/diseases, such as preventable diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and cancer – all of which put enormous strain on the health service.
Public Health England says hospitals have an "important role" in tackling obesity and not just dealing with the consequences.