The national chair of the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), Stewart McKenzie, has come out in support of NHS England's intention to limit sugary drinks sales in hospitals.
The NHS announced today (21 April) sugary drinks will be banned in hospital shops next year unless suppliers take action to cut their sales.
Retailers including WHSmith, Marks & Spencer, Greggs, Subway, Medirest, ISS and the Royal Voluntary Service have agreed to continue reducing sales of sugary drinks to 10% or less of their total drinks sales within hospitals over the coming year.
By April 2018 hospitals must ensure 60% of confectionery and sweets stocked do not exceed 250kcal, rising to 80% in 2018/19; and 60% of pre-packed sandwiches and savoury meals must contain 400kcal or less per serving and do not exceed five grams of saturated fat per 100g, moving to 75% in 2018/19.
McKenzie said: "In the last year we have already seen progress being made with hospitals removing price promotions on sugary drinks and snacks and making sure healthy options are available to patients, staff and visitors. It will be interesting to see how retailers also respond to the further targets for confectionery and pre-packed sandwiches and meals."
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