Shops agree to limit sugary drinks sales in hospitals

Fizzy drinks

Today (21 April 2017) Food for Life has welcomed the news that NHS England has asked all retailers with hospital outlets to limit sugary drinks to no more than 10% of the total beverages they sell by next April.

WHSmith, Marks & Spencer, Subway, Greggs Medirest, ISS and the Royal Voluntary Service have already agreed to reduce the number of sugary drinks they sell in their hospital shops in England, including fruit juices and milk drinks with added sugar and coffees with sugar syrup.

All retailers in hospitals in England are being urged to make the changes. NHS England will ask them to provide sales figures to check on progress. Companies that do not comply will face a total ban on selling sugary drinks in hospital shops.

In addition, hospitals must also make further efforts to ensure healthy food options are available at all times, including:

  • 60 per cent of confectionery and sweets stocked do not exceed 250 kcal, rising to 80 per cent of confectionery and sweets in 2018/19.
  • 60 per cent of pre-packed sandwiches and other savoury pre-packed meals to contain 400 kcal or less per serving and do not exceed five grams of saturated fat per 100g, moving to 75 per cent in 2018/19.

The plans are part of a health drive to cut obesity and tooth decay across the country.

Hattie Shepherd, Policy Officer at Food for Life, commented: 

"The NHS has a responsibility to lead by example when it comes to making healthy choice the easy choice so it is  very promising to see steps being taken to reduce the availability of sugary drinks and snack on hospital premises. The next step we would hope to see being made will be for all hospitals to make sure they have an ambitious food and drink strategy in place covering not just retail outlets but all patient, staff and visitor food and drink."

Find out more about the work Food for Life is doing in Hospitals around the country to support hospitals to become consistently health-promoting environments in addition to providing appetizing, nutritious and sustainable meals to all.