Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Two New Events: 'Diet and Dyslexia' and 'Veganuary Special' - BOOK HERE

26 September 2014 - HuffPost - Is the NHS Encouraging Obesity Through Unhealthy Food Choices? And What Can We Do??

Dr Sally Norton - Leading weight loss surgeon & consultant and health expert

Dr Sally Norton - criticising the NHS for encouraging obesity by allowing coffee shops and vending machines that offer predominantly unhealthy food choices to be housed within in our hospitals

It's a discussion that seems to have hit home with everyone who spends time in NHS premises - not just medics. The background? I'm really angry that the NHS, who last year spent £6bn on tackling obesity, fills our waiting rooms and foyers with high sugar/high fat food and drink offerings - from fizzy drinks and chocolates in vending machines, to coffee chains offering lattes and muffins that together can account for a third of our daily calorie recommendation and twice the daily sugar intake that is being recommended by the World Health Organisation!

How can I advise my patients to eat more healthily when they walk out of my weight-loss clinic to face temptations like that?

We have allowed hospitals to get tied up in contracts with these providers--giving away some of our control of good nutrition, a fundamental tenet of health. We are allowing these vending machines to spew out coke and chocolate at the very patients and staff who we may well be treating for diabetes, heart disease, and knee arthritis before long--and at increasingly crippling expense too.