Friday 5 January 2018

NHS bans sugary drinks

Over the Christmas period the implicit threat that always comes when the government introduces a voluntary measure was made explicit:

NHS England warns that unless health trusts reduce sugary drinks sales will be banned from hospitals

The NHS's head honcho said:

"It's important the NHS practices [sic] what it preaches on healthy food and drink," said NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens. "We want 2018 to be the year when the tasty, affordable and easy option for patients, staff and visitors is the healthy option."

Not a healthy option, please note. The healthy option. To the 'public health' lobby, the mantra of 'making healthy choices easier' always involves removing choice.

"Many NHS hospitals have answered the call and are taking positive action."

But some of them haven't. Some of them have decided that it's okay to allow citizens to buy harmless and refreshing soft drinks on the premises. And so, inevitably, NHS mandarins have dropped the carrot for the stick:

Sugary drinks will be banned from sale in NHS hospitals across England from July, the health service has announced.

This week NHS England released an updated contract for hospitals, which for the first time included a clause prohibiting the sale of sugar sweetened beverages.

As people waited for hours in A & E and slept on trolleys in hospitals, Katherine Button from the Campaign for Better Hospital Food said:

“This bold leadership from NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens is exactly what we need to tackle these big health challenges.”

Incidentally, the Campaign for Better Hospital Food is part of the state-funded pressure group Sustain. So too is the Children's Food Campaign, which is now drooling with anticipation at the prospect on extending the ban...

Give 'em an inch...

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