Junk Food Promotions legislation now under threat amid cost of living crisis: Food Active Response

by Beth Bradshaw | 30 March, 2022 5:32 pm

In the last few days there have been reports circulating that Boris Johnson “has not yet made up his mind” on whether to proceed with introducing restrictions on price promotions (i.e. buy one, get one free deals) on unhealthy food and drink items, amid fears that it will make life even harder for lower income families during the cost of living crisis.

This comes just weeks after more reports that marketing of less healthy food and drink on TV and online media legislation was also under threat. We engaged with local leaders in public health[1] to show there is widespread support for the measures.

Our Programme Lead responds to these latest rumours on promotions regulations…

Programme Lead at Food Active, Nicola Calder, said:

“We are concerned to hear of yet more threats to the Government’s ‘world leading’ strategy to address obesity, this time on important regulations to limit multibuy promotions on less healthy food and drinks.

Whilst we share the Government’s concerns about the cost-of-living crisis and believe urgent intervention is needed, scrapping these important proposals is simply not the answer.

Contrary to public perceptions that these deals can save customers money, evidence from the Government’s very own Impact Assessment suggests otherwise. The assessment found that these promotions actually increase consumer spending by encouraging people to buy more than they intended to. To deny the evidence base now would be illogical and not in the best interest of the nation’s health.

Price promotions on less healthy food and drink are bad for our pockets and our health. We urge the Prime Minister to press ahead with these important plans, and seek out other strategies to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis.“

Read our research on price promotions here[2].

Read our response to the promotions legislation consultation here[3].

  1. local leaders in public health: https://foodactive.org.uk/local-councillors-and-directors-of-public-health-warn-ministers-against-u-turn-on-unhealthy-food-and-drink-marketing-regulations/
  2. here: https://foodactive.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Food-Active-Price-Promotions-on-Less-Healthy-Food-and-Drink.pdf
  3. here: https://foodactive.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Promotions_Technical_Consultation_FoodActive_Website_FINAL.pdf

Source URL: https://foodactive.org.uk/junk-food-promotions-legislation-now-under-threat-amid-cost-of-living-crisis-food-active-response/