UK proposes restrictions on promotions of food high in sugar and fat

UK – The UK government has unveiled a campaign seeking views on its plans to restrict promotions of food and drink products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) by location and by price. 

The consultation aims to reduce excessive eating and drinking of HFSS products that can lead to children becoming overweight and obese.

It looks to restrict some retailers from bombarding customers with strategically placed promotions on confectionery, such as price drop offers and multiple buys deals around shop entrances, at the end of aisles and at tills.

The proposal is part of the second chapter of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan and is designed to reduce the growing number of overweight and obese children in Britain.

UK government plans on restricting volume-based price promotions of HFSS food and drink that encourage people to buy more than they need and also restricting the placement of HFSS food and drink at main selling locations in stores.

The consultation seeks views on definitions for HFSS products, price promotions and locations in stores; which businesses, products and types of promotions should be included in the restrictions.

According to reports, nearly 1 in 4 children in England are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school, and this rises to 1 in 3 by the time they leave primary school.

Obesity increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and cancer.

In regard to this, the government has published the methodology of the DHSC calorie model, which sets out the requirement to publish consultations on energy labelling of food and drink outside the home by the end of 2018.

It also looks to restrict price promotions for unhealthy foods; and checkout, end-of-aisle and store entrance sales of unhealthy foods and drinks.

Recent research from the Obesity Health Alliance also found that 43% of all food and drink products are located in prominent areas for fruit and vegetables.

The new rules would promote HFSS food and drinks that are most often consumed by children.

The move is supported by Children’s Food Campaign which advocates to end junk food at checkouts.

Research in 2013 by the British Dietetic Association showed that 78% of the public found junk food at checkouts ‘annoying’.

In November 2018, the Obesity Health Alliance published results or in-store surveys showing 43% of all foods displayed in store entrances or at the end of aisles and checkouts were for sugary foods and drinks.

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