British Prime Minister Boris Johnsons launches an assault on obesity: he wants to ban promotions for unhealthy food in supermarkets. The corona crisis has strengthened his conviction, he says.
No advertising ban
The British government is planning restrictions for promotions on foods that contain too much sugar, salt and fat, The Times reports. Supermarkets, for example, would no longer be allowed to run ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions for certain products, and sweets would no longer be displayed at the end of supermarket aisles or at shop entrances. In catering and food service, the calorie content of a meal should be stated. The measures would be announced later this month.
The decision is somewhat surprising, because Johnson has always been a supporter of free food choices. But since becoming a victim of the coronavirus, he has reportedly changed his mind: now he is convinced of the need to act quickly. Obesity - particularly among children and adolescents - is a growing problem in the UK: the number of overweight people has doubled in the last 20 years. And the coronavirus strikes harder in overweight patients.
Under the previous Prime Minister, Theresa May, the government had already made some similar proposals, including a ban on advertising unhealthy foods to children, on TV and online: TV spots for unhealthy snacks should not be broadcast until after 9pm. Prime Minister Johnson does not want to introduce this measure for the time being.