More options make the healthy choice the easy choice
20 Jun 2018
Choosing the healthier option is now an easier choice at hospital food outlets across Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.
Since May 1, hospital food and retail outlets have begun working towards stocking their chilled and hot food displays with a minimum of 75 per cent healthy food and drink, in accordance with the NSW Health Healthy Food and Drink in NSW Facilities for Staff and Visitors Framework.
The framework outlines that healthy food and drink, classified as ‘Everyday’ items, will make up 75 per cent or more of the total food and drink offered in retail outlets while ‘Occasional’ food and drink items make up no more than 25 per cent of the products on offer.
‘Everyday’ foods are the healthier food choices and include things like sandwiches with lean meats, salad and egg fillings, salads, pasta, yoghurt and fruit.
Unhealthy foods such as hot chips, cakes, salty snacks and lollies are classified as ‘Occasional’ food items. ‘Occasional’ foods are still available at hospital food outlets though with limited availability.
This change to stocked food and drink items follows the removal of sugary drinks from sale at Local Health District hospitals and health services in 2017.
“Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District has worked closely with hospital retail and food outlets as we’ve introduced each stage of the NSW Health Framework,” says Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Senior Health Promotion Officer, Alejandra Martinez.
“We know that excess weight is associated with a range of chronic health conditions and, as a health care provider, we aim to support staff and visitors to make choosing healthy food and drink the easy choice,” says Ms Martinez.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity amongst Australians has steadily increased for the past 30 years. More than half of all adults in the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District are overweight or obese, higher than the NSW average.
“This latest change helps us to create a healthy food and drink environment that makes the healthier choice the easier choice,” says Ms Martinez.