Nurses at Musgrove Park’s cardiology department have challenged patients and hospital staff to cut down on the amount of junk food and drink they have.
It follows a hospital-wide initiative aimed at drastically reducing the availability of food and drink with high sugar and fat sold at the hospital’s retail outlets and snack machines.
Hospital bosses have already brought in a series of changes this year to tackle junk food.
Some of these changes include:
- The choice of cold drinks on sale has been adapted to minimise the availability of unhealthy drinks
- Some of the hospital’s retail outlets have moved their less healthy snacks away from till points
- Musgrove’s catering department is working with the suppliers of vending machines so they can include healthier choices
- The in-house hospital restaurant, Whitlock’s, is applying for a Soil Association Award, which is for organisations that use more sustainable suppliers.
Hayley Peters, director of patient care at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “The health and wellbeing of our patients, visitors and staff is very important to us and we continue to work closely with all food and drink outlets at the hospital to make sure they promote healthy nutritional choices.
“We already strongly encourage the sale of non-sugary drinks and do not allow advertisements or promotions of sugary drinks at the hospital.
“Seven out of 10 drinks lines sold at the hospital must be sugar free, at least six in ten confectionary and sweets must not exceed 250kcal and six out of ten pre-packed sandwiches, wraps and salads must not exceed 400kcal and 5.0 saturated fat per 100g.”
Diana Cooper, senior sister at Musgrove’s cardiac catheter lab, said: “We are pleased to build on the hospital’s commitment to actively encourage people to swap junk food for more healthy options.
“We all know that junk food tends to have high calories, little nutritional benefit, and is generally not good for you. And while we can, of course, all choose to eat what we would like, we probably aren’t always making an informed choice.
“Our student nurses have launched a healthy eating awareness campaign, called Junk Free June. Every week in the month they will display information at our cardiology department about the risks of junk food – from sugar and fat content to calories in food.”