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Queensland hospitals to ban sugary drinks and junk food

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Queensland has heeded the AMA’s call to ban sugar-sweetened drinks and unhealthy snacks from its public hospitals and health care facilities.

Vending machines and cafes will go junk-free by the end of this year, after the new guidelines are drawn up. 

State Health Minister Steven Miles said junk food advertising around children in schools, sports grounds, and public transport hubs will also be phased out under the State-wide ban.

Minister Miles said Queensland’s nutritional standards guidelines are expected to eventually be adopted by other States.

“It’s staggering that one-quarter of Queensland kids are either overweight or obese,” he told the ABC.

“By the end of the year, we’ll have a set of nationally agreed standards for healthier food and drink choices in public health care facilities.

“I want to see these standards phase out sugary drinks and junk food.”

The exact threshold of what will be deemed “unhealthy” is yet to be determined.

The AMA called for health care facilities to provide access to healthy foods, and to remove or replace vending machines containing sugary drinks and other unhealthy foods, in its Position Statement on Nutrition 2018.