Queensland hospitals to ban junk food and sugary drinks

Sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks will be banned from Queensland public hospitals and health care facilities in a bid to crack down on obesity.

Source: NewsPatrolling.com

Junk food advertising around children in schools, sports grounds and public transport hubs will also be phased out, as part of the radical overhaul by the State Government.

Some Queensland hospitals have already enforced their own sugar bans on vending machine items, but the new guidelines will create a uniform approach across the state.

Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland was leading the charge by developing a nutritional standards guideline, which is expected to eventually be adopted by other states.

Mr Miles said he planned to implement the changes once the new protocols were drawn up by the end of the year.

“It’s staggering that one quarter of Queensland kids are either overweight or obese,” he said.
“Our public health facilities can lead by example.

“By the end of the year, we’ll have a set of nationally agreed standards for healthier food and drink choices in public health care facilities.

“I want to see these standards phase-out sugary drinks and junk food.”

The exact threshold of what will be deemed “unhealthy” is yet to be determined but hospital vending machines and eateries will be the first in the firing line.

The guidelines will also prevent the advertising of junk food around children in public schools, sport centres, community recreation venues and other government-owned and operated facilities.

Mr Miles said there should be no space for marketing sugary drinks to kids.

“This change will also ensure Australia’s food industry will be subject to consistent guidelines,” he said.

“Frankly, the number of obese children will continue to rise if governments across the country don’t take significant action to combat the obesity crisis.”

Decision ‘insulting’ to people’s intelligence

Australian Beverages Council spokesman, Geoff Parker, said the industry had been blindsided, calling it an insult to people’s intelligence.

“Unfortunately the Queensland Government has decided not to consult with the industry on this particular move and that’s disappointing,” Mr Parker said.

“From an impact on industry perspective, this ban will have very little impact.

“But it must be insulting for visitors to Queensland hospitals and staff of Queensland hospitals that the Government doesn’t trust them to make their own decisions around what they eat or drink.
“People don’t want governments snooping around in vending machines or hospital cafeterias.”

Source :

abc net

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