NHS England are set to ban ‘super-sized’ chocolate bars and ‘grab-bags’ from their hospital vending machines in an attempt to tackle employee obesity.
Under new guidelines set out by NHS England, chocolate bars and bags of sweets must be 250 calories or under. The move made by the NHS, is an initiative for employees and patients to cut down on the amount of saturated fats and sugar intake, to promote a healthier lifestyle.
In perspective, a standard 51g Mars bar contains 230kcal which still meets within new guidelines. However, a 190g bag of Haribo Tangfastics contains nearly 660kcal. Alongside this, at least eight in every ten of the drinks stocked in vending machines must have a total of less than 5g added sugar per 100ml.
It is estimated that almost 2 in every 3 NHS employee is either overweight or obese. The decision made by NHS executives believe that this is only the first step and they soon aim to replace calorie-laden snacks, making healthier food choices an easier option for staff, patients and visitors.
A spokesperson from the NHS Clinic in Hastings said: ‘’In my workplace, it’s clear that people head straight to the machines for a quick snack, it would be useful change for NHS employees to promote a healthier lifestyle to patients and for themselves’’.
In recent years, the NHS did attempt to completely cut high-sugar products. However, the NHS strongly believe that this is a step in the right direction to combat supersized snack culture, which is causing an epidemic in obesity and other health related issues.
NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens has warned that obesity will bankrupt the health service, and this is just one the steps the NHS are taking within their own premises to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Hospitals across the United Kingdom will be given a cash boost for incorporating the changes as an incentive to initiate the ban of super-sized snacks to fight the battle against health-related issues.