Junk food: Ministers to delay ban on multi-buy deals

3 days ago 12

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Health campaigners impeach Prime Minister Boris Johnson of "playing politics" with children's health

The authorities is to hold a prohibition connected multi-buy deals for junk nutrient and pre-watershed TV advertizing arsenic families conflict with the outgo of living.

The Department of Health said the plans volition beryllium deferred for a twelvemonth portion officials measure the interaction connected household finances.

It said curbs connected junk nutrient placement successful stores would inactive spell up successful October.

But wellness campaigners person accused the PM of "playing politics" with children's health.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the planned prohibition connected "buy 1 get 1 free" (Bogof) deals for nutrient and drinks precocious successful fat, brackish oregon sweetener (HFSS) arsenic good arsenic escaped refills for brushed drinks, would beryllium enactment connected clasp for 12 months, until October 2023.

Plans to restrict TV advertizing of junk foods earlier the 21:00 GMT watershed and paid-for online adverts are besides being paused for a twelvemonth and volition not travel into unit until January 2024, the section added.

Laws requiring ample restaurants, cafes and takeaways to database calories connected their menus came into unit past month.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup insisted that the authorities remained committed to tackling the contented of puerility obesity.

"Pausing restrictions connected deals similar 'buy 1 get 1 free' volition let america to recognize its interaction connected consumers successful airy of an unprecedented planetary economical situation," she added.

However, wellness campaigners person criticised delays to the plans, and accused Boris Johnson's authorities of failing to tackle puerility obesity.

Prof Graham MacGregor, a cardiologist astatine Queen Mary University of London and president of Action connected Sugar, said the delays contradicted the government's "levelling up" agenda.

"Boris Johnson could person near a bequest of being the archetypal premier curate to code obesity successful a meaningful way, peculiarly successful restricting advertizing and promotion of unhealthy nutrient which were his flagship policies," helium said.

"Instead, helium has fixed successful to his ain MPs, and an assertive nutrient industry, who, ironically, were starting to comply with these caller policies."

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The costs of the NHS dealing with obesity successful the UK are "vast" and it was clip to "get a grip connected it", says the PM.

Meanwhile, Barbara Crowther, of the Children's Food Campaign, said ministers should beryllium urgently curbing multi-buy offers alternatively of "delaying and dithering".

"Obesity is spiking and millions of families can't spend to enactment due nutrient connected the table. Multi-buy offers marque radical walk much connected junk, and little connected steadfast food," she said.

"This hold threatens the UK people to halve puerility obesity by 2030. Boris is playing authorities with our children's health."

Labour's shadiness wellness curate Andrew Gwynne said: "Instead of cutting puerility obesity, preventing ill-health and easing unit connected the NHS, this chaotic authorities is performing different U-turn."

But manufacture assemblage the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) argues that it "makes sense" to hold restrictions connected multi-buy deals arsenic families and manufacturers conflict with "high inflation".

Kate Halliwell, the FDF's main technological officer, besides welcomed the hold to the advertizing ban, saying it would springiness the manufacture clip to hole for a alteration successful the law.

When the authorities unveiled the planned curbs, immoderate of the UK's biggest nutrient companies, including Britvic, Kellogg's and Mars, criticised them arsenic "disproportionate" and lacking evidence.

Last month, Kellogg's said it would instrumentality the authorities to court implicit the curbs preventing immoderate cereals from being placed successful cardinal locations successful stores owed to their precocious sweetener content.

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