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Government announces further delay to introduction of junk food BOGOFs

Children's Food Campaign

Crisps

"We urge the Government to stand by the legislation and the timelines they have set out, and avoid any further harm to the nation’s health and the pressures on the NHS.”

The Government has reportedly announced it will further delay the introduction of restrictions on multibuy price promotions on foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar. This comes a year after it was supposed to be introduced and just a week after the Prime Minister made a commitment to cut NHS waiting lists by reducing obesity.

The multi-buy price promotions policy was a key part of the Government's evidence-based childhood obesity strategy, designed to work with existing locations promotions and the delayed advertising restrictions, to cumulatively reduce excess calories in the diet.

The Obesity Health Alliance wrote to the Prime Minister urging him not to U turn on introducing the policy, which Tesco and Sainsburys have already commited to put in place. 

Katharine Jenner, Director of the OHA said:

"The multi-buy price promotions policy is a key part of the Government's evidence-based childhood obesity strategy, designed to work with existing locations promotions and the delayed advertising restrictions, to cumulatively reduce excess calories in the diet."

She pointed out that the NHS spends £6.5 billion annually on diet-related ill-health.

Ben Reynolds, Deputy CEO of food and farming alliance Sustain, said:

“These restrictions provide a level playing field for businesses to shift promotions to healthier products, helping not hindering consumers in these difficult times. The Prime Minister needs to stand firm on his ambitions to halve child obesity by 2030 and not cave-in to a small group of ideological backbenchers and vested interests.”

Barbara Crowther from the Children’s Food Campaign said:

“The NHS is spending £6.5 billion annually on treatments for health conditions related to poor diets, and excess consumption of calories, salt, sugar and saturated fats. The Government should be doubling down on preventative strategies, instead of caving to pressure and contemplating yet another u-turn on children’s health.

"The multi-buy promotional restrictions are well evidenced in terms of getting people to spend more money on junk food, rather than save. The regulations were designed to work as a package alongside the location restrictions already in force, incentivising manufacturers and retailers to put healthier products in the spotlight instead. Companies have been preparing for their introduction in October 2023, and to delay now would only reward the unhealthy laggards and penalize the healthier, more responsible retailers and brands.

"We urge the Government to stand by the legislation and the timelines they have set out, and avoid any further harm to the nation’s health and the pressures on the NHS.”