Britain To Restrict Promotion Of Unhealthy Food From April 2022

by user | January 3, 2021 8:35 pm

In an attempt to fight national obesity, Britain has expressed that it will be banning any promotion of unhealthy foods through April 2022[1].

This ban pertains to any foods that are found to be high in fat, sugar, or salt and includes free refills of sugary drinks at restaurants.

Additionally, the British government stated recently that this means no more “buy one get one free” promotional coupons.

While some people might find this unfair, the government expresses that these efforts are being made to improve the public’s health.

The “buy one get one free” deal that is found all throughout the world is a huge problem in keeping people obese.

The biggest issue behind this deal is that it gives people a mindset that they need to use the deal since they are getting something free. While free stuff is nice, this type of marketing can be dangerous to people’s health.

Because of this, the British government[2] felt that tackling this marketing specifically can aid in keeping people healthy. With the elimination of this deal, the government hopes that patrons will find healthier alternatives.

While the restaurant industry is a big culprit of these unhealthy promotions, the government’s ban is even stretching to include supermarkets.

The ban will affect unhealthy junk food[3] promotions at checkouts, shop entrances, and at the end of the aisles.

This really puts a big dent in key marketing areas of supermarkets. However, these new restrictions are being put into place in the government’s major efforts to decrease the nation’s obesity problem.

Public health minister, Jo Churchill[4], has expressed that the ban on these promotions across supermarkets and restaurants will help people make better eating decisions.

These recent bans aren’t exactly new however and the initial introduction of the ban was brought forth back in July.

At that time, and as a part of the continued efforts to fight obesity, they even put restrictions on television adverts that were being shown before 9 p.m. Additionally, this original ban included online advertising as well.

Recently, online advertising was increased to include a total ban on any unhealthy adverts. With more and more people online, it should come as no surprise that they are taking these measures.

This is especially true with the ongoing issues related to the COVID pandemic[5].

Obese individuals are thought to have a higher risk of getting the virus which has played a large part in the government’s decision to place the food bans. In Britain obesity is certainly a problem.

It is estimated that around two-thirds of British adults are obese and more shockingly, approximately 1 in 3 children are considered obese.

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of Britain, has expressed his concerns about the obesity problem facing his nation. This became very apparent after Johnson was diagnosed with COVID and came to terms with his own weight issues.

The government’s ban on junk food is said to have the best interest of the people in mind during these trying times.

This new junk food ban could play a bigger role in controlling the COVID outbreak in Britain, especially with a new strain being recognised as a faster-spreading variant.

The government hopes that the restrictions being put in place against junk food advertising will help obesity levels drop throughout the nation.

They find this to be extremely important not only because the newer strain appears to spread faster but also because there appears to be no relief behind the United Kingdom’s COVID numbers.

Recent data[6] has shown that the UK has over 2,500,000 confirmed cases of the virus with over 70,000 deaths. In concerns to Britain, they are recorded as having 2,139,956 of those confirmed cases and over 60,000 of the deaths.

These numbers are certainly alarming and are considered to be rising. The junk food restrictions are being held as a measure to manage these out-of-control cases of COVID that the country is experiencing.

Considering that this ban extends through April of 2022, it is possible that the ban could work. This prolonged ban can give time to work throughout the country, ultimately contributing to battling COVID.

While the British government’s ban on junk food is about helping people make healthier food choices, it is also about controlling the amount of exposure to unhealthy eating habits that they have as well.

The “buy one get one free” advert is generally associated with fast food or restaurants. The government’s extension to include supermarkets, tv adverts, and online advertising, takes the ban to a different level.

These restrictions are being implemented to reduce how much Britain’s citizens are seeing junk food.

Marketing heavily relies on visuals because it really stimulates various viewers. Perhaps the government is onto something here. Fewer visuals could mean less junk food that is being purchased.

While this doesn’t seem too appealing to supermarkets or restaurants, it could mean an uptick in healthier foods being bought.

Ultimately, British citizens will eat what is feasible for their situations. However, the government’s attempt to reduce harmful junk food marketing could increase healthier food purchases.

Although, while the adverts are being restricted, it doesn’t eliminate the food from the shelves or the restaurant’s menus.

Junk food will remain on shelves and on restaurant menus still making them accessible for patrons.

Instead of attempting to control what restaurants are selling or what supermarkets are stocking their shelves with, Britain’s government has chosen to tackle the adverts that draw people in to purchase these items.

This appears to be a smart approach by the government and could be beneficial for its citizens. This is not only true for the current state of affairs but could be helpful in the future as well.

The ban could aid in reducing the number of obese adults and children beyond COVID as well.

With COVID cases still being a rampant problem in the country, along with obesity continuing to be an issue, the latest unhealthy food ban is a drastic measure to help the entire nation.

Endnotes:
  1. April 2022: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-food-idUSKBN29200K
  2. British government: https://www.gov.uk/
  3. unhealthy junk food: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junk_food
  4. Jo Churchill: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Churchill
  5. COVID pandemic: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1
  6. data: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Source URL: http://www.newsinsider.org/543/britain-to-restrict-promotion-of-unhealthy-food-from-april-2022/