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Friends embrace the nationwide Sugar Smart campaign.

The comprehensive way the Friends’ shops and cafes have embraced the new nationwide Sugar Smart campaign, to counter obesity, has won widespread praise from members of the hospital trust. “We seem to be well ahead of the game, and I feel very proud of our team,” said Friends’ chair-man Lesley Myland. The Sugar Smart initiative on the Island involves a whole range of local organisations, led by the Isle of Wight Council. It focuses on raising awareness of the impact of sugar consumption on health, and to develop strategies to promote healthier choices. “Many of us are consuming too much sugar, especially children,” states the initiative report. After pointing out that obesity was associated with a range of social and health problems, including children’s dental decay, the report added the annual cost to the country was estimated at £27-million. Lesley told Friends members they were fortunate in having Lisa Brodie (pictured) as the ‘creative and responsive’ shop manager. “Lisa has worked really hard on all the alternatives and keeping the shop and café buzzing.” The Friends have now been asked to share their ideas, and have already been awarded a certificate by the Isle of Wight Council’s public health department. Lisa explained that healthy options were being offered across the board. One example of cutting sugar intake was to no longer sell multi-packs of chocolates and large bars of chocolate; another was selling smaller packets of crisps.“And we have far more zero-sugar drinks, including sugar-free flavoured water.” While chocolate and other sugary sweets were still available they were displayed less prominently in the Friends shops and on the ward-visiting trolleys.

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