Publication Details

Tsai, C., Svensen, E., Flood, V. M., Probst, Y., Reilly, K., Corbett, S. & Wu, J. H. Y. (2018). Healthiness of food and beverages for sale at two public hospitals in New South Wales, Australia. Nutrients, 10 (2), 216-1-216-13.


(1) Background: Our aim was to conduct objective, baseline food environment audits of two major western Sydney public hospitals and compare them to recently revised state nutritional guidelines.

(2) Methods: A cross-sectional assessment was conducted (June-July2017) across 14 fixed food outlets and 70 vending machines in two hospitals using an audit tool designed to assess the guideline's key food environment parameters of availability, placement, and promotion of 'Everyday' (healthy) and 'Occasional' (less healthy) products.

(3) Results: Availability: Overall, Everyday products made up 51% and 44% of all products available at the two hospitals. Only 1/14(7%) fixed outlets and 16/70(23%) vending machines met the guideline's availability benchmarks of ≥75% Everyday food and beverages. Proportion of Everyday products differed among different types of food outlets (café, cafeteria, convenience stores). Placement: On average, food outlets did not meet recommendations of limiting Occasional products in prominent positions, with checkout areas and countertops displaying over 60% Occasional items. Promotion: Over two-thirds of meal deals at both hospitals included Occasional products.

(4) Conclusion: Baseline audit results show that substantial improvements in availability, placement, and promotion can be made at these public hospitals to meet the nutrition guidelines. Audits of other NSW hospitals using the developed tool are needed to investigate similarities and differences in food environment between sites. These findings highlight the need for ongoing tracking to inform whether the revised guidelines are leading to improved food environments in health facilities.



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