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AVA hits back at doctors over ‘junk food’

Following the call by The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to ban junk food and vending machines from UK hospitals, AVA (Automatic Vending Association) called on decision makers to recognise that vending can and should be, part of a healthy balanced lifestyle.

In a statement issued on 27 June, AVA said: “Vending enables 24-hour unattended retailing and as such, allows for the provision of refreshment, both beverages and food, around the clock. This is an essential service for many locationsincluding hospitals, when frequently there is no other form of refreshment available.  AVA members operate under a very stringent Quality Standard thus also guaranteeing quality and hygiene of any purchases made.”

The Association said it has always advocated consumer choice and education as opposed to regulation, particularly in regard to healthy eating. It said it recognisesthat as a trend, health and wellbeing are here to stay and it is also working with the industry to develop an increasing range of options to fulfill thisdemand.

“One recent example is AVA’s project with University College Birmingham where we are working together to create ranges of healthy vending solutions. Other innovations in vending include offering full ‘steamplicity’ meals, which provide healthy sustenance and can be heated in a microwave. “

VendingIndustry experts gathered recently at AVEX at a “Being Healthy” Conference to explore how changing consumer needs can be met through the selections offered in the vending channel – an event that received support from across the food industry, the Association said.

“The convenience, simplicity and quality of vending currently available can be adapted to deliver refreshment choices that fully support consumers seeking a healthy lifestyle.  The AVA would be delighted to engage with The Royal Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to explore how we might work together to maximise innovations in vending in hospital settings,” it said.