Research and analysis

Hospital vending machines: helping people make healthier choices

Findings from research into how changes to vending machine product availability and positioning across Leeds Teaching Hospital altered purchasing choices.


Hospital vending machines: helping people make healthier choices

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Obesity-related illness costs the NHS around £6.1 billion per year and vending machines in hospitals can support healthy consumption habits amongst NHS staff, patients and visitors. This was highlighted in the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) Childhood Obesity Plan and NHS England’s challenge to action on sugar.

Behavioural Insights experts in DHSC and Public Health England collaborated with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Selecta to run a trial in 17 cold drink and mixed snack vending machines. The trial tested in 2 phases: whether changing the availability or positioning of products within the vending machines could encourage healthier choices and whether that was economically viable.

Published 20 July 2018