By Deirdre Tynan • 22 July 2021 • 5:54
Spanish government to ban advertising of junk food. Image: Wikimedia
The British government is set to restrict promotions of sugary and salty food and “3 for 2” offers in shops from October 2022 in an effort to tackle obesity. Shops and supermarkets that do not comply could be fined.
Promotions on food and drinks high in fat salt or sugar (HFSS) in retailers will be restricted from October 2022, the government said on July 21.
Regulations will be laid in Parliament that will require medium and large businesses, including those with 50 or more employees, to phase out their offering of multibuy promotions such as “buy one get one free” or “3 for 2” offers on HFSS products.
Less healthy promotions will also no longer be featured in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents. Free refills of sugary soft drinks will also be prohibited in the eating-out sector.
The announcement follows consultation with industry and the government has considered industry’s feedback and has made the decision to extend the implementation date of this policy – from April 2022 to October 2022 – to allow businesses enough time to prepare for these restrictions.
“The government will continue to work with businesses, trade associations and local authorities to ensure they are supported in implementing the new requirements ahead of them coming into force. This will include sharing draft guidance with industry and local authorities to provide further clarity on how these restrictions will need to be implemented in practice,” the government said in a statement.
Shops and supermarkets that do not comply could be fined.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the impact that an unhealthy weight can have on people’s health. We know families want the healthy choice to be the easy choice, and restricting promotions on unhealthy foods will help them achieve this,” said Public Health Minister Jo Churchill.
“We want to support everyone to eat healthier foods more regularly and this starts with helping supermarkets and manufacturers promote healthier food choices lower or free from HFSS, to support families to make healthier choices.
“These restrictions will come into force from October 2022. I look forward to working together with everyone to ensure that for families a healthy option is the easy option when shopping,” she added.
Obesity is one of the biggest health crises the country faces as almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or living with obesity and one in three children leave primary school overweight or obese. Obesity-related illnesses cost the NHS £6 billion a year.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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