Unhealthy snacks prevail in UK hospitals

NHS health centres are being encouraged to use behavioural ‘nudges’ to promote healthier snack choices after a recent audit produced worrying results about the prevalence of unhealthy snacks.

The Guardian is reporting that three-quarters of the best-selling snacks in hospitals, cafes and canteens were rated as unhealthy snacks in an audit of health centres in an unnamed UK city.

Crisps, sweets, cakes, pastries and muffins all ranked highly in the popularity stakes, leading to calls from health psychologists to limit the calorie, fat, sugar and salt content in foods available at hospitals and health centres.

Some are calling for even stronger actions, including banning unhealthy snacks altogether in NHS food outlets.

The Government is suggesting the cost of obesity to wider society is around the £27bn mark; action is needed to curb a trend which could see that figure reach nearly £50bn by 2050.

It is recommended to avoid snacking constantly throughout the day, thus increasing your calorie intake, and if you do need a snack to substitute more unhealthy food with a healthier alternative, like fruit and vegetables.

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