Sugar has been banned from coffee and tea vending machines in hospitals across Wales as they pose a “risk to health”, according to NHS chiefs.

The Welsh Assembly has also ordered that cheddar cheese sandwiches are banned as they contain too much fat. Dried fruit, juice, seeds and water have been recommended as health alternatives for vending machines.

Automatic Vending Association Co-opted board member Gillian White said it had proposed a compromise of using “Half Spoon” sugar to health minister Edwina Hart.

But a spokesperson for the Assembly said that hospitals should reflect the importance of healthy living and try to set an example for any visitors.

They added: “We are working to create an environment where it is easier for people to make healthy choices, particularly in our hospitals. We have issued nutritional guidance to the NHS in Wales for vending machines. This guidance is monitored and reviewed as necessary.”

The Department of Health said it was not planning to follow the Welsh example.