Hospitals should ban the sale of junk food and unhealthy drinks, leading doctors have said.

For many patients and their families, vending machines or people with trolleys offering crisps, chocolate and cans of pop are the easiest way to get some food in hospitals.

Officials also said it was "obscene" for hospitals to have fast food chains on site.

Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said that to combat the obesity epidemic, hospitals should take a stance against selling junk food.

Dr Malhotra, who works at London's Royal Free Hospital, told delegates at the British Medical Association's annual conference in Edinburgh 60% of UK adults were overweight and obese and one in every three children was overweight or obese by the time they left primary school.

"It is appalling to observe patients, some of whom are not fully mobile, gorging on crisps, confectionery and sugary drinks: the very food items that may have contributed to their admissions in the first place," he said.

"It is obscene that many hospitals continue to have high street fast food franchises on site as well as corridors littered with vending machines selling junk food."

Medics at the conference passed a motion calling for all NHS premises to ban the sale of junk food and unhealthy drinks and also urged the Government to extend the free fruit and vegetable scheme for four to six-year-olds to all primary school children.

They also expressed concerns about smoking, saying rules prohibiting smoking near hospital entrances were "routinely ignored" and called for tougher penalties for rule breakers.