Hospitals could ban fizzy drinks sales

Hospital shops agree to limit sugary drinks sales Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Hospital shops have agreed to limit the sales of sugary drinks on NHS premises after being told that sugary products would be banned if not.

Firms including WH Smith, Marks & Spencer, Greggs and Subway who operate outlets on hospital grounds have all agreed to try and meet a target of reducing sugary drink sale to 10% or less of their total refreshment sales.

Cans and bottles of sugary soft drinks, as well as fruit juices with extra sugar and sugary milk drinks, have been targeted as part of the crackdown on sweetened drinks served in NHS cafes, canteens and shops.

  • Why the sugar crackdown?

The NHS is trying to improve healthy eating in hospitals, including axing deals on sugary drinks and salty, fatty or sugary foods.

Almost 700,000 NHS employees out of 1.3 million are thought to be overweight or obese and this is an issue the health service want to address as well as encouraging patients to make healthier choices.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said action needed to be taken as adding sugar to our diets each day could lead to "serious health problems".

He said: "A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down but spoonfuls of added sugar day-in, day-out mean serious health problems.

"It's great that following discussion with NHS England, big name retailers are agreeing to take decisive action, which helps send a powerful message to the public and NHS staff about the link between sugar and obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."

  • Is anyone else taking a stance on sugar?


The Government is introducing a sugar tax from next April on the producers and importers of soft drinks with added sugar.

Drinks containing 5g of sugar or less per 100ml will face a lower rate of tax and those with more than 8g per 100ml will face an as yet unset higher rate.