politics

'Buy 1 get 1 free' junk food offers and restaurant drink refills to be banned


Multi-buy offers on junk foods will be banned from April 2022, under new government plans to tackle obesity.

“Buy one get one free” and “three for two” offers on unhealthy food will be prohibited in supermarkets.

And meals that are high in fat, salt or sugar will be banned from promotion in ‘prominent’ places, such as near to the checkout or aisle-ends under the new rules.

Restaurants will also be banned from offering free refills on sugary drinks.

Do you think the Government is right to bring in these restrictions? Let us know in the comments section



The Government hopes to stop people shopping unhealthily

Boris Johnson announced plans to crackdown on unhealthy food in July, despite previously dismissing the idea of “sin taxes.”

The Prime Minister reportedly changed his mind after being hospitalised with Covid-19 – an illness which for which obesity is a major risk factor.

In September Mr Johnson said he had lost weight following the scare, and was “fitter” than he was before being struck down by the virus.

The new restrictions will apply to foods high in fat, salt or sugar – including cakes, crisps, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, pizzas and ready meals.



Sweet displays won’t be promoted

Small stores are exempt from the plans aimed at helping the nation lose weight.

The restrictions on promotions will only apply to businesses employing more than 50 people and on locations to stores larger than 2,000 square feet.

The DHSC said the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for the nation to lose weight, with Covid-19 being particularly deadly to overweight people.

But the plans follow the Government’s “help out to eat out” scheme, which saw diners given 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks in order to boost the hospitality sector.



Junk food will be discouraged

Public Health Minister Jo Churchill, said: “We know families want to be presented with healthier choices.

“This is why we are restricting promotions and introducing a range of measures to make sure the healthy choice is the easy choice.

“Creating an environment which helps everyone eat healthier foods more regularly is crucial to improving the health of the nation.”

Health campaigners welcomed the plan.


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Chair of the Action on Sugar charity Professor Graham MacGregor said the “important policy” will provide a level playing field for responsible retailers, allowing them to promote healthier options.

“Finally, Downing Street is acting decisively with a bold first step to restrict the sale of junk food on multi-buy offers and at checkouts, and taking on one of the biggest threats to Britain’s future health – childhood obesity,” he said.

Obesity Health Alliance lead Caroline Cerny said: “Taking the spotlight off junk food means the only buy one get one free offers we see will be on healthier foods.

“Retailers won’t be able to tempt us to impulsively buy tins of sweets in supermarket entrances or chocolate bars in clothes shops.”

Diabetes UK head of policy Helen Kirrane said the restrictions are a “positive step towards helping people across the UK to make healthier choices when it comes to their food shop”.

An eight-week consultation on the plans was launched on Monday.

The Government also still intends to go ahead with a ban on junk food adverts being aired on television before 9pm.





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