Sugary drinks face NHS ban if action is not taken

Sugary drinks will be further removed from NHS canteens, shops and vending machines during 2018.

The NHS is taking action on sugar, with almost two thirds of NHS trusts now signed up to a voluntary scheme to reduce sales of sugary drinks to 10 per cent or less of sold beverages. Some NHS Trusts have gone further and have introduced their own bans on sugary drinks. As well as hospitals, 14 national suppliers have signed up to the voluntary scheme including WH Smith, Marks & Spencer, Greggs and the Royal Voluntary Service.

However, 91 NHS Trusts are yet to join the voluntary scheme to limit the sale of sugary drinks, which can lead to tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Hospitals and suppliers have been warned that if they don’t take action to reduce sales of sugary drinks by the end of March 2018, a ban will be introduced in 2018 instead.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “It’s important the NHS practices what it preaches on healthy food and drink. We want 2018 to be the year when the tasty, affordable and easy option for patients, staff and visitors is the healthy option.

Many NHS hospitals have answered the call and are taking positive action.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England, said:

Hospitals should play an important role in preventing obesity, not just treating it. Plans to offer healthier food and restrict less healthy options are a positive step towards tackling the country’s obesity problem.

Some hospitals have already gone further than the NHS voluntary scheme:

  • Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust banned the sale of sugary drinks two years ago.
  • Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust in January 2017 went 100 per cent non-sugar sweetened for all beverages in their seven Cafes, two shops and multiple vending machines across their various sites.

NHS England’s voluntary sugary drinks reduction scheme covers sugary soft drinks, milkshakes and hot drinks with added sugar syrups.

Currently 141 of 232 NHS Trusts have signed up to the voluntary scheme to reduce sales of sugary drinks.

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14 Responses

  1. umelcom says:

    There is a great obesity crisis happening here, and I am glad that NHS is taking a stand! Hospitals need to have more healthy options for consumption, rather than having an overabundance of sugary and fattening meals! I hope they introduce the ban. No one should be admitted to a hospital for heart problems, diabetes, or obesity issues, and be given the option to purchase sugar filled drinks that will worsen their condition!

  2. hyptia says:

    Here in our country we have a new law that increases that tax of sweetened drinks except those for primary consumption. There purpose is also so that the obesity rate in our country will be lower and that the consumers would tend to patronize healthier food products. This nice to know that NHS is finally making a move to help decrease obesity rate.

  3. hibiscus says:

    I find it really interesting that hospitals don’t ban these drinks on their own accord. Its great that the NHS is taking measures to increase prevention and not just treatment of things like obesity and diabetes. Plus, what better way to aid healing than a nutritious diet while staying in the hospital! Good on the NHS!

  4. hetzky says:

    Okay so there is an obesity crisis, I get that, but do people really need to have their hand held constantly? Rather than outright banning sugary drinks, how about upping the choice of healthier options? How about educating people to make their own decisions as opposed to just removing any choice in the matter? Also, I would be interested to see what they mean by “non sugar sweetened” beverages. Does this simply mean that they now have vending machines full of diet drinks flavoured with aspartame and other weird chemicals? I know the initiative is done with the best of intentions, but i really think that the answer lies in education, not restriction.

  5. itsmarkf says:

    It’s good that NHS is taking an action with what’s happening around. Hospitals have an important role in addressing obesity. I think they should voluntarily remove all the sugary foods and drinks and start campaigning about healthier foods. They are the place of health and they should make an example to everyone that health is wealth.

  6. nekonieden says:

    It’s good to hear that they will take an action about that matter. Since those unhealthy drinks cause a lot of trouble in our living which is one of the reason to increase a large number of population died from sickness and diseases from those products, they should have banned those sugary products long time ago or at least lessen the number of distributions. It’s right that NHS are now taking some actions to prevent the increasing number of mortality rate from diseases cause by those kinds of products. The individuals should also be responsible and should learn to be discipline enough to themselves to lessen the used of those unhealthy products instead promote and eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Not processed foods and drinks. It should be natural or inorganic ingredients.

  7. hazel42704 says:

    This would certainly affect not only the consumers but also the manufacturers in the availability of their product and the sales that they will create. If this is implemented, it can be quite a double edged sword that affects both side but what I think the bigger and more important problem to resolve is the health of the consumers so if this can positively affect the obese population, then the action should be continued.

  8. Ela says:

    It’s good to hear that NHS is taking action about obesity crisis. This crisis is so alarming because a lot of people tend to ignore their health because they focus on eating what they want to satisfy themselves. With this action, it will help decrease the population of people having obesity and also diabetes.

  9. that_guy says:

    This is something that I always found odd. Why do hospitals that preach “health” also sell the worst kind of food a person can eat? I’m glad that the UK is taking a step in the right direction. This will not cure the obesity or diabetes epidemic but it will make an impact. The more information about healthy and the more healthy options are available, the more people will choose to eat healthy diets.

  10. Holmes22 says:

    At this point I would say why not and the drinks are so obviously bad for you and not at all beneficial so go ahead and try to get them out. I do consider myself lucky to not really care much for them in the first place but I still think that even people who like them would tend to agree.

  11. jaclynkate says:

    Yes Indeed, they should really remove them,not only in the Hospitals also in schools. As a mother I want my child to eat healthy foods.
    Soft drinks/sodas is one of the reason of obesity, and it can also cause diabetes and other disease. Glad, that NHS has made an action about it.

  12. oishari says:

    I am all for the government taking action against sugary drinks. Sugar is the number one poison we voluntarily take in our system everyday. What’s worse is it’s very addicting and most of us don’t even know the damages it can do to our body. It’s even harder to avoid because it’s so easy to purchase in stores and is much cheaper than organic all-natural drinks. So it’s great that NHS is considering banning them and replacing them with healthy options.

  13. MomoStarr16 says:

    We should really teach our people to lessen the take of sugar in their body. It is bad for our health especially when we are older. That banning will benefit a lot of people in the country. In my country what they did is that they put big taxes on products that are sweetened. This is to discourage a lot of people to take more sugar in their body.

  14. Too much sugar intake will lead into being a diabetes. Wherein diabetes is being describe as a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood sugar. People who has this kind of disease usually are getting this from foods and drinks with high level content of sugar being intake. So, if this ban will be implemented or push through it will be a big help for every people so that many people will not be able to have diabetes at all.

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