UK to ban ‘buy 1 get 1’ promotions on junk food from 2022

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The Britain government has taken a significant step in its fight against obesity by imposing a restriction on multi-buyer offers in supermarkets and restaurants on unhealthy food items from 2022 April.

The most attractive “buy one get one free” and “three for two” promotional deals on food high in fat, sugar or salt like cakes, crisps, breakfast cereals, pizzas, ready meals and free refills of sugary soft drinks in restaurants, medium and large stores as well as on websites will be restricted in the UK from April 2022 onwards.

The government says obesity is one of Britain’s biggest long-term public health problems with almost two-thirds of adults in England and one in three children leaving primary school are obese or overweight.

The ministry has stated that it will set a deadline for retailers to stop store promotions on unhealthy products and it will not allow advertising at checkouts, shop entrances or at the ends of aisles.

“We are restricting promotions and introducing a range of measures to make sure the healthy choice is the easy choice. Creating an environment that helps everyone eat healthier foods more regularly is crucial to improving the health of the nation,” public health minister Jo Churchill said.

Health campaigners in the country welcomed the move and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stated that evidence shows that while promotions may appear to save shoppers money, they actually encourage people to buy more than they require.

The DHSC stated that the coronavirus has further added to the need for the nation to lose weight, with the pandemic being particularly dangerous for overweight people.

Early this year, Public Health England (PHE) in its report revealed that severe obesity could increase the chance of death from the virus by up to 90 percent. Citing this Prime Minister Boris Johnson had publicly talked about his own need to lose weight since being hospitalized with the disease.

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.”

Earlier in July, the UK government had taken an initial step towards this mission by proposing the plan of banning “buy one get one free” deals on junk food and it also put a restriction on advertising junk food promotion on TV and online before 9.00 p.m. Last month the government put forward a total ban on online advertising for unhealthy food.