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article imageHospitals in the U.K. to limit sales of sugary drinks

By Tim Sandle     Apr 23, 2017 in Health
London - The major retailers who operate stores in Britain's biggest hospitals have agreed to 'scale back' (but not to stop completely) the sale of sugary drinks.
Given that hospitals are places where people go to get better and that hospitals are part of the health system, for which health promotion places a key part it is perhaps odd that the stores in hospitals (mainly news shops and small grocery stores) stock-up high with sugary drinks. These are drinks that have an association with obesity, among other ill-health effects (according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientific evidence shows that "frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.")
After many years of campaigning by health promotion groups (including groups within the British government health system, like Public Health England), a consortium of retailers have got round to pledging to limit sales of sugary drinks. This applies to hospitals in England only and does not extent to the other countries of the U.K. The retailers are WHSmith, Marks & Spencer, Subway and Greggs.
Fact check:
Coca cola, the sugar version, for a standard measure (500mL), contains around 200 calories whereas the diet equivalents (Diet Coke or Coke Zero) contain around one calorie.
By April 2018 the retailers have agreed to make sugary drinks no more than 10 percent of the total number of drinks they sell inside hospitals. How this target is to be achieved is not specified, although NHS England has indicated to the BBC that it expects to receive progress reports from the retailers.
READ MORE: Artificial sweeteners linked to stroke and dementia risk
As well as sugary drinks, hospitals must make further efforts, such as:
60 percent of confectionery and sweets stocked do not exceed 250 calories, rising to 80 percent of confectionery and sweets in 2018/19.
60 percent of pre-packed sandwiches and other savory pre-packed meals to contain 400 calories or less per serving and do not exceed five grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, moving to 75 percent in 2018/19.
Commenting on the decision, Katherine Button, who runs the Campaign for Better Hospital Food said: "NHS hospitals are trusted by patients, families and staff to keep them fit and well and NHS England is helping everyone to take a big healthy step in the right direction."
More about Hospitals, Sugary drinks, artificial sweeteners, Drinks
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