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Availability of Healthy Food and Beverages in Hospital Outlets and Interventions in the UK and USA to Improve the Hospital Food Environment: A Systematic Narrative Literature Review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah Richardson, Dr Lorraine McSweeneyORCiD, Dr Suzanne Spence



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract: The aims of this systematic review are to determine the availability of healthy food and beverages in hospitals and identify interventions that positively influence the hospital food environment, thereby improving the dietary intake of employees and visitors. Embase, Medline, APA PsycInfo, Scopus, Google Scholar and Google were used to identify publications. Publications relating to the wider hospital food environment in the UK and USA were considered eligible, while those regarding food available to in-patients were excluded. Eligible publications (n = 40) were explored using a narrative synthesis. Risk of bias and research quality were assessed using the Quality Criteria Checklist for Primary Research. Although limited by the heterogeneity of study designs, this review concludes that the overall quality of hospital food environments varies. Educational, labelling, financial and choice architecture interventions were shown to improve the hospital food environment and/or dietary intake of consumers. Implementing pre-existing initiatives improved food environments, but multi-component interventions had some undesirable effects, such as reduced fruit and vegetable intake.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richardson S, McSweeney L, Spence S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nutrients

Year: 2022

Volume: 14

Online publication date: 09/04/2022

Acceptance date: 08/04/2022

Date deposited: 11/04/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2072-6643

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/nu14081566


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