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NHS staff told to slim down for patients sake

31 July 2014

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Overweight doctors and nurses should be told to lose weight in order to set a good example for patients, according to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens. 

Unhealthy food options like burgers and chips would be removed from staff canteens, with staff taking part in weight loss competitions under new plans being considered by NHS England. 

The newspaper claims that 700,000 of the 1.3 million staff working in the health service are either overweight or obese. 

Stevens’ proposals would see more gyms built, NHS sites to be made cycle-friendly, and prizes such as pedometers offered to staff who lose weight. 

He told The Sun: “It’s hard for the NHS to talk about how important this is if we don’t get our own act together. I think the NHS has got to take an example in helping our own staff and hopefully other employers will follow suit. 

“A lot of the food in hospital canteens, not just for patients, but for staff, is chips and burgers.

“What’s great about the NHS can’t excuse what needs to change about the NHS. That is the approach that we have got to take. We’ve got to support people doing great things, nurses, doctors, the frontline of healthcare. But we’ve also got to raise our game.”

Across England, three-quarters of people aged 45-74 are either overweight or obese, recent figures show. 

Young adults are the only age group who have a normal average body mass index, the Health and Social Care Information Centre figures show.