Censorship of junk food reaches supermarkets: the United Kingdom is going to “hide” it from consumers


Out of sight, unhealthy foods that I don’t put in the shopping cart. Supermarkets have prominent locations where they promote certain products based on your interests. They also use different sales strategies so that the buyer takes home their product and not another. The United Kingdom wants to end these promotions and advertising of unhealthy foodthus improving the health of its inhabitants.

Restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food in the UK

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The UK Government will restrict the promotion of unhealthy food in stores from next October. This measure is part of the UK strategy to tackle obesity and make the nation fitter and healthier.

The government’s goal was to start the measures in April 2022, but it took the decision to extend the date of implementation of this policy to October 2022. The cause is give companies more time to prepare for the restrictions that must be followed.

What are the restrictions and who does it affect?

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The regulation imposed by the British government will affect the medium and large companies with 50 or more employees and occupy more than 2,000 square feet (about 600 meters). Small supermarkets are exempt.

The promotions of foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and salt may not be displayed in key locationssuch as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends. This eliminates the incitement to buy these foods and tries to display healthy foods in these prominent places.

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They should also gradually eliminate multiple purchase promotions for this type of food, such as “buy one get one free”, “three for two” or the like. Failure to comply with these restrictions will be sanctioned by the competent authorities.

The electronic commerce is also subject to these new rules prohibiting food advertising and placement on key pages of the supermarket website. Foods such as pizzas, ice creams, milkshakes, sweets, prepared meals, etc. they cannot appear as recommendations or suggestions, nor be promoted on the home page.

Why is this restriction necessary?

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Obesity-related diseases cost the nation about £6 billion a year, according to UK government figures. Nearly two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese, with one in three children being overweight or obese.

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For this reason they are already working on other strategies such as introduce mandatory calorie labeling in restaurants, cafeterias and takeaways, as well as restricting the advertising of unhealthy foods before 9:00 p.m. to protect the little ones from this type of advertising.

43% of promotions to attract buyers are made for unhealthy foods such as sugary drinks. Nevertheless, barely 1% of these strategic places and promotions are dedicated to fruits or vegetables fresh.

These restrictions seek to turn these percentages around and improve the health of the British population. It is an important step, although as we have already seen in Spain with the Nutriscore (or nutritional traffic light), we will evaluate over time who has more weight in health: UK government or large food industries.

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Pictures | unsplash


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