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Getting the balance right-tackling the obesogenic environment by reducing unhealthy options in a hospital shop without affecting profit

Simpson, N; Bartley, A; Davies, A; Perman, S; Rodger, AJ; (2018) Getting the balance right-tackling the obesogenic environment by reducing unhealthy options in a hospital shop without affecting profit. Journal of Public Health , 40 (4) e545-e5551. 10.1093/pubmed/fdy053.

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Abstract

Background: UK hospitals have been criticized for fuelling obesity by allowing contracts with food retailers selling high fat and high-sugar products on hospital premises. Methods: We assessed the impact for a major retailer of increasing healthy food choices at their Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust outlet. To assess the impact on sales, profit and acceptability to customers, a multi-component intervention based on behavioural insights theory was enacted over 2 months (November-December 2014) at the Royal Free site WHSmith. Sales data on all food and drink were assessed over three time periods: (i) 2 months immediately prior to, and (ii) immediately after the intervention, and (iii) the equivalent period 10 months later. Acceptability to customers was assessed via questionnaires, and profit assessed as a proxy for retailer satisfaction. Results: Compared to the pre-intervention period, total sales increased immediately after the intervention, and again 10 months after the intervention. Sales of healthier options increased as a proportion of total sales following the intervention, sales of sweets and chocolates decreased, while the relative sales of other items remained similar. Conclusions: We demonstrated that healthier alternatives could be provided in a hospital retail premises without negatively affecting total sales, retailer or customer satisfaction.

Type: Article
Title: Getting the balance right-tackling the obesogenic environment by reducing unhealthy options in a hospital shop without affecting profit
DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy053
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy053
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: individual behaviour, obesity, public health
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065613
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