Source: The Telegraph
An NHS hospital in Greater Manchester has become England’s first to ban all sugary food and drinks for both patients and staff.
Obesity campaigners have welcomed the “trailblazing” announcement by Tameside Hospital and predicted it will prompt others to follow suit.
The new policy goes significantly further than a ban on just fizzy drinks which comes into force across the health service in July.
It followed a successful staff weight-loss scheme at Tameside last year initiated to battle obesity among clinicians who graze on unhealthy snacks to keep going over long shifts.
One nurse lost two stone over 12 weeks after snacks were removed from the menu for a trial period, while others lost 20 lbs over the same period.
As part of the “Slimpod” weight-loss programme, some of the participants underwent hypnotherpay telling them to avoid sugary food.
Karen James, Chief Executive of the hospital, 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 now 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.”
A recent report revealed one in four NHS nurses is obese, which is exacerbating staff sickness levels.
Last week NHS England released an updated contract for hospitals, which for the first time included a clause prohibiting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Retailers including Marks & Spencer, WH Smiths and Subway had already agreed to cut sales of sweet drinks to a maximum of 10 percent of their output.
Tam Fry, Chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “Tameside’s initiative should be rolled out to every UK hospital forthwith.”