Healthcare facilities crack down on obesity rates

junk food ban

The Queensland Government has announced sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks will be banned from public hospitals across the State by the end of the year.

It’s in a bid to crack down on obesity but the plan has already received backlash from the public.

What’s the plan?

The guidelines announced by Health Minister Steven Miles not only ban sugary drinks and junk food from public hospitals but also phase out advertising in public schools, sports centres, public transport hubs, community recreation venues and other Government-owned facilities.

Mr Miles said Queensland’s public health facilities can lead by example by developing a nutritional standards guideline, which is expected to be adopted by other States.

Although some Queensland hospitals have already taken it upon themselves to enforce their own junk food and sugar bans in vending machines, the guidelines will create a uniform approach.

The exact details of what is set to be banned is yet to be determined, though vending machines and eateries will be the first affected.

How high are Queensland’s obesity rates?

Currently, a staggering one quarter of kids across Queensland are overweight or obese and according to Mr Miles, this number will only increase if change is not implemented.

“Frankly, the number of obese children will continue to rise if Governments across the country don’t take significant action to combat the obesity crisis,” Mr Miles said.

Australian Beverages Council spokesperson Geoff Parker disagrees, calling the plan an insult to the public’s intelligence.

“It must be insulting for visitors to Queensland hospitals and staff of Queensland hospitals that the Government doesn’t trust them to make their own decisions around what they eat or drink,” Mr Parker said.

“From an impact on industry perspective, this ban will have very little impact.”

What do you think of the recent announcement?