Experts are working to ban unhealthy foods and drinks, such as crisps, chocolates, and sodas, in hospitals, as an effort to fight obesity, according to a new report.

The motion was put forward at the British Medical Association Conference and will be put into effect if it gains backing from health professionals.

The motion was put forward by a cardiologist named Dr. Aseem Malhotra at the BMA Conference in a bid to prevent hospital patients from being offered junk food.

The cardiologist believes that by doing so, it is a way of starting to get the medical profession’s own “house in order” in an attempt to stem the increasing issue of obesity amongst the UK population.

Dr. Malhotra wrote in British Medical Journal:

“An oversupply of nutritionally poor and energy dense foods loaded with sugar, salt and trans fats, fueled by aggressive and irresponsible marketing by the junk food industry has even been allowed to hijack the very institutions that at are supposed to set an example and promote positive health messages; our hospitals.”

In order to combat obesity, “we must start in our own back yard,” the author explained.

“It’s time for the British Medical Association to join with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and lobby for a ban of junk food and beverages to be sold in all hospitals.”

The motion states: “That this meeting asks the BMA to lobby the DH and NHS Confederation to ensure that all NHS premises should ban the sale of junk food and junk drinks.”

Earlier this year, the Measuring Up campaign launched by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) aimed to make nutritional standards mandatory in hospitals, comparable to those in schools as well as in prisons.

Backing the motion, Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair of the AoMRC, said:

“In many hospital receptions patients pass by fast food outlets or vending machines selling confectionery, sugary drinks and crisps. If the NHS is to send out a message that it takes the obesity crisis seriously, it cannot recreate the same unhealthy environment inside hospitals as exists on the high street. We have to make sure that patients and staff alike are offered healthy and nutritious meal choices.”

Recent research on obesity has demonstrated that there has been a four-fold increase in the number of kids and teens admitted to hospital for conditions related to obesity in the last 10 years.

Approximately 26% of adults in the UK are considered obese. In Europe, the UK has the highest rate of obesity with 33% of children overweight or obese by the age of 9.

A recent study showed that the number of kids in England and Wales admitted to hospital for obesity related problems quadrupled between 2000 and 2009.

A 2011 study in Academic Pediatrics examined food venues at children’s hospitals and found that only 7% of entrees classify as being ‘healthy’ in Californian hospitals.

Written by Sarah Glynn