Call for rules on hospital vending machines in England !

Hospital vending machines in England contain too many high-calorie snacks, and guidelines should be introduced to make them healthier, says a cancer prevention charity. A World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) survey found 73% of English health trusts do not have a policy on the food sold in their vending machines.

Yet the Welsh and Scottish governments introduced guidelines in 2008. Experts say the NHS must send out a clear message on healthy food choices. England has no national guidelines on the health content of food and drink sold in hospital vending machines, unlike Scotland and Wales where machines are recommended to be stocked with at least 30% healthier choice products.

Amanda McLean, general manager at the WCRF, said chocolate bars, crisps and sugary soft drinks were not appropriate items to be selling in hospitals.

"Because there is strong evidence that these foods cause obesity - a risk factor in diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease - they are partly to blame for many people ending up in hospital in the first place," she said.

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