The UK government is planning to ban ‘buy one get one’ promotions on “unhealthy” food and beverages that are high in fat, salt, or sugar content under its anti-obesity drive. The rule is expected to be effective from April 2022.
Free refills of soft drinks with high sugar content will also be banned in the eat-out sector.
As per the new rules, no retailer will be allowed to offer multibuy promotions such as “buy one, get one free” or “buy 3 at the price of 2” on unhealthy food products.
Besides, promotions featuring unhealthy eatables will not be allowed in key locations such as store entry and exit points and their online counterparts.
Speaking about the plan to restrict promotion of unhealthy foods, UK 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.”
He added: “Creating an environment that helps everyone eat healthier foods more regularly is crucial to improving the health of the nation.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has informed that though such promotions appear to help buyers save money, they end up increasing the sales of the promoted good by as much as 20 percent.
Such promos also encourage people to purchase more than is necessary and often beyond what they intended to buy in the first place.
To prevent obesity, which is among the biggest health crises the UK faces at the moment, Public Health England’s Better Health Campaign will run special advertisements on New Year that would encourage people to maintain a healthy weight. Notably, nearly two thirds or 63 percent of adults in England are overweight or obese and the National Health Service (NHS) spends six billion pounds every year on obesity-related illnesses.--With PTI inputs