MPs calling for reduction in multi-buy offers
A group of MPs have urged the government that more must be done to reduce the number of multi-buy offers on unhealthy foods to help curb childhood obesity. Further to this, they say that rules on junk food advertising must get more stringent and clear, claiming that the current obesity plan set forth by the government is too vague. The British government announced a childhood obesity plan in 2016, one of the main points was the sugar tax, however many in the wider health community have criticised this plan saying that there must be more action.
In the latest Health Select Committee report, the MPs are calling for more to be done to stop big discounts on unhealthy food and therefore halt their promotion towards children. This comes after evidence from the food industry that responsible retailers are being undercut by those who continue to offer attractive discounts. Whilst some supermarket chains have reduced the number of deals that they promote, many others are still pushing theirs forward. The British Retail Consortium has stated that there will have to be industry-wide agreement if junk food promotions were to be reduced, and this is an incredibly difficult thing to implement.
The MPs also suggested that more must be done to stop junk food advertisements to children. Currently, these types of adverts are banned during programmes that are aimed at children, the MPs suggest that they should be banned during all programmes that children might watch as well. They go on to propose that the sugar tax should extend to milk-based products that are currently excluded but still contain added sugar. Whilst they are aware that many of these plans are ambitious, they are keen to point out that more must be done to stop the development of childhood obesity, and only by implementing new plans and strategies can this be achieved.