Charities respond to government’s public consultation on junk food

29 December 2020
1 min read

Action on Sugar and Dental Wellness Trust have responded to the government's public consultation on a total ban of online advertising for unhealthy foods high in fat, sugar and salt in the UK to tackle the obesity crisis and get the nation fit and healthy.

Professor Graham MacGregor, chair of Action on Sugar, said, “Finally, Downing Street is acting decisively with a bold first step to restrict the sale of junk food on multi-buy offers and at checkouts, and taking on one of the biggest threats to Britain’s future health – childhood obesity.

“This important policy, specifically targeting the most sugar-laden food and drinks packed with excessive calories, will provide a level playing field for responsible retailers, enabling them to promote healthier options to families.

“To bypass the restrictions and improve our health further, manufacturers have the opportunity to reformulate their less healthy products into healthier versions over the next two years when the government, which has already bowed to industry lobbying and watered down their own Childhood Obesity Plan, has promised the restrictions will come into force.

“Putting junk food multi-buy offers in the aisles and at the checkouts is just another way of food companies sneaking their unhealthy products into your basket. Now is the time for healthier food to take centre stage."

Saul Konviser from the Dental Wellness Trust commented, "Not only will the new restrictions on selling junk food on multi-buy offers and at checkouts help tackle childhood obesity, it will also significantly reduce the number of cases of tooth decay – one of the most common non-communicable diseases worldwide. 

“Nearly 45,000 hospital operations were performed to remove rotten teeth in 2018/19 which is a stark reminder that too much sugar, especially in children's diets, can have dire consequences. And what’s most concerning is that this is all entirely preventable."