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BMJ Open. 2017 Nov 16;7(11):e018214. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018214.

Are food and drink retailers within NHS venues adhering to NICE Quality standard 94 guidance on childhood obesity? A cross-sectional study of two large secondary care NHS hospitals in England.

Author information

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (Nutrition Theme), University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
Department of General and Old Age Medicine, Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire, UK.
Department of Clinical Strategy, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire, UK.



To assess whether the food and drink retail outlets in two major National Health Service (NHS) district general hospitals in England adhere to quality statements 1-3 of the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) quality standard 94.


Cross-sectional, descriptive study to assess the food and drink options available in vending machines, restaurants, cafes and shops in two secondary care hospitals.


Adherence to quality statement 1 whereby the food and drink items available in the vending machines were classified as either healthy or less healthy using the Nutrient Profiling Model (NPM). Compliance with quality statements 2 and 3 was assessed through the measurement of how clearly the shops, cafes and restaurants displayed nutrition information on menus, and the availability and prominent display of healthy food and drink options in retail outlets, respectively.


Adherence to quality statement 1 was poor. Of the 18 vending machines assessed, only 7 (39%) served both a healthy food and a healthy drink option. Neither hospital was compliant with quality statement 2 wherein nutritional information was not available on menus of food providers in either hospital. There was inconsistent compliance with quality standard 3 whereby healthy food and drink options were prominently displayed in the two main hospital restaurants, but all shops and cafes prioritised the display of unhealthy items.


Neither hospital was consistently compliant with quality statements 1-3 of the NICE quality standard 94. Improving the availability of healthy foods and drinks while reducing the display and accessibility to less healthy options in NHS venues may improve family awareness of healthy alternatives. Making it easier for parents to direct their children to healthier choices is an ostensibly central component of our healthcare system.


paediatric endocrinology; paediatrics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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