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Call for healthier vending machines

29 July 2015 09:25

Vending machines should include healthier drink and food, says Nice

Vending machines should include healthier drink and food, says Nice

A new seven-point plan to tackle child obesity includes healthier hospital, clinic and state-run leisure centre vending machine options.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (Nice) latest guidelines say more nourishing drink and food should be offered alongside fizzy drinks and crisps.

It also wants these machines to clearly label each item's nutritional value, to help users make up their minds.

The new official advice comes in the wake of a hike in the amount of children and young people being diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes.

Previously, this condition had been almost exclusively discovered in adults.

Key stats

- Over a fifth of four to five year-olds start primary school in an obese or overweight condition, according to the latest figures relating to 2013/14.

- This fraction increases to over a third when children are aged between 10 and 11.

- Nearly four in five obese teenage children (79%) will probably carry their weight problems into adulthood, which can lead to heart disease, some cancers, Type-2 diabetes and other health problems.

Holiday tonic

Family holidays abroad can help take people's minds off their weight problems. They can even help start to address them.

Many holidays now come with the offers of on-site gyms or beautiful beaches or countryside in which to run.

Whether tourists suffer from diabetes, obesity or other conditions, they can take out medical travel insurance to give themselves peace of mind.

Other guidelines

Nice's other guidelines include:

- Encouraging all family members to be physically active and eat healthily as an example, irrespective of their personal shape.

- Putting youngsters on special weight management action plans.

- Encouraging fathers, mothers and carers to get involved with such programmes.

What the experts say

Nice's deputy chief executive Gill Leng stressed the key role carers and families play in backing obese or overweight young people and children.

Prof Leng said that whole families can get on healthy eating and physical activity programmes at the same time.