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Sugar banned from hospital vending machines


Sugar has been banned from coffee and tea vending machines in hospitals across Wales as they pose a “risk to health”, according to NHS chiefs.

The Welsh Assembly Government has also ordered that cheddar cheese sandwiches are banned as they contain too much fat. Dried fruit, juice, seeds and water have been recommended as health alternatives for vending machines.

Automatic Vending Association Co-opted Board member Gillian White said it had proposed a compromise of using “Half Spoon” sugar to Health Minister Edwina Hart.

But a spokesperson for the Assembly Government said that hospitals should reflect the importance of healthy living and try to set an example for any visitors.

They added: “We are working to create an environment where it is easier for people to make healthy choices, particularly in our hospitals. We have issued nutritional guidance to the NHS in Wales for vending machines. This guidance is monitored and reviewed as necessary.”

The Department of Health said it was not planning to follow the Welsh example.


Readers' comments (28)

  • for goodness sake. what a load of rubbish. if a relative needs sugar in their tea if they have been through trauma etc, then ill be there with a spoon of sugar for them.

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  • tich x

    sometimes i wonder how they come up with such decisions. why not give patients the chance to make that choice? i forgot nurses too because we use such services. simon you have used the word rubbish so i will say gabbage. this is why in my trust despite so many underweight patients its a fuss to even get hold of a pint full fat milk. why do i have to phone the kitchen for milk for the patient yet they provide semi-skimmed. if iam working and miss a hot meal i want to eat whatever sandwich i want. patients still smoke in hospital yards yet we are concerned about sugar. i bet a frail, unwell patient will down 1500ml of water easily!

    it seems to be the much younger patients who are overweight, & eat lots of sweets & fizzy drinks when hospitalized, and i doubt this will have any sort of impact on them.

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  • This is another example of health prevention by committee.

    Who had this particularly inept brainwave and decided that they were going to save lives by removing the only thing that made vending machine drinks vaguely palatable?

    Did anyone think that it might be nice to be allowed the choice, seeing as we are fully functional adults? Clearly not...

    I personally would be more concerned with the nature of the food being served to the sick whilst they are in-patients. I would wager that a spot audit on any given day in any given health facility would show up some glaring inadequacies in relation to nutrition, palatability, name it. I daresay it would be there.

    But enough of this. I am off for some cheese on toast and a cuppa with two sugars. Why? Because I choose to, of course.....

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  • I wonder what services are put on in the welsh assembly for those making these decisions I bet they don't have what there canteen or vending machines supply. I thought that under human rights etc we should be allowed to make our own choices, if I choose to have an unhealthy snack that's my decision. I don't want NICE or the welsh assembly government dictating to me what is good or bad for me or what I should or shouldn't eat I want to make that decision for myself after all I am an adult.
    I agree with the other comments what a load of rubbish.

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  • Buahahahaha! What if someone has a drop in blood sugar and needs something sweet to drink? Don't you think it is far more risky?

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  • Absolutely ridiculous, how offensive for the public and staff to assume they cannot make the choice in which to have or to have not, have they taken away the vending machines that sell chocolates which are high in saturated fats? They are a far greater risk to cardiovascular health

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  • the sooner the welsh assembly is abolished the better.

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  • This is nonsense,people should have a choice,and having vending machine with sugar and sugar free as well,although i love the idea of having healthy choice.

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  • so.... how about the potential risk to one's health when a person uses the vending machine burns themselves from the hot tea or coffee they have purchased?

    perhaps they could look into a disclaimer?!?!?

    you then look at nhs treatment for the cost of a burn... perhaps we should stop serving tea and coffee according to wales nhs?

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  • Were the public consulted? ..............just aware of the PPI agenda here....and that is here to stay and more!!!

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