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Welsh hospitals in ban on junk food


3 November, 2008  

Vending machines in Welsh hospitals can no longer be stocked with crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks.

Junk food has been banned from snack dispensers and replaced with healthy alternatives such as fruit and sugar-free drinks under new rules from the Welsh assembly government.

Machines will have to contain food that is healthy, kind to teeth and safe to eat under orders handed down by the Welsh assembly government, which has issued guidelines on what to offer patients and visitors.

Reminders about eating five daily portions of fruit and vegetables must also replace branding for sweets and chocolates on the side of machines.

Wales’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Jewell said the move was part of an attempt to stamp on a growing obesity problem by making hospitals “set an example”.

“It’s not the whole answer – it’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

A similar junk-food purge in schools has seen familiar items like Marmite and tomato ketchup removed from some canteens in an attempt to comply with assembly government guidance.

Dr Jewell said: “It’s got to go quite far because half of our population are overweight and a quarter are obese.

“Whatever we are doing we are not winning on this issue.”

Copyright PA Business 2008

Welsh Assembly Government