AMA President, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, today applauded the South Australian Government’s decision to review the types of food sold in public hospitals. //
The SA Government says it’s concerned that chips, lollies, chocolate and soft drinks are the most commonly available foods in hospital vending machines and canteens.
Dr Haikerwal said many patients, visitors and staff in hospitals eat on the run.
“Hospitals should make healthy food the easy option,” Dr Haikerwal said.
“It’s ludicrous that the main food available in hospitals is frequently junk food.
“It’s great to see the South Australian Government start to tackle this issue, following similar work that’s being done in NSW.
“The AMA is heartened to see State Governments taking the initiative to help fight the obesity crisis.”
The AMA has called for bans on junk food and vending machines in schools – the same should apply to health facilities.
Dr Haikerwal said it was great to see a number of State Governments starting to tackle the school junk food issue, but said governments also should ensure that food available in hospitals and aged care facilities is nutritious and appealing.
“It’s important that older people eat well – good nutrition can go a long way to improving quality of life,” Dr Haikerwal said.
Further, all food options in hospitals and schools should be labelled to indicate their energy content and ingredients, Dr Haikerwal said.
“We believe food should be labelled using a clear, simple system, to help people to make healthy choices,” he said.
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