Mon, 27 May 2024

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
This is manifestly the moment for dementia to be made a priority Partner content
Press releases

Supermarkets challenged over junk food

Slimming World | Slimming World

3 min read Partner content

MPs have backed a new campaign against junk food at supermarket checkouts.

The Junk Free Checkoutscampaign, launched today by the British Dietetic Association and the Children’s Food Campaign, calls on supermarkets to permanently remove unhealthy snacks from checkouts and queuing areas.

New research has found that nearly 8 in 10 shoppers are unhappy with the sale of sugary or high calorie food and drink items at checkouts.

Almost all the parents surveyed said they had been pestered by their children to buy junk food at the checkouts, and most found it difficult at that particular moment to say no.

Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie, who is a member of the Commons Health Select Committee, told Central Lobby:

“Junk food is a major contributor to obesity which in turn can have a devastating impact on the lives of individuals, shortening life expectancy, quality of life and increase risk of illness like diabetes.

“We should be doing everything we can to help people, especially children, resist the (often very tempting!) foods which contribute to obesity - high in sugar, salt, hydrogenated fats, highly processed foods. This will not only help bring down the cost of obesity related illness to the NHS, but will help contribute to the quality of life for millions."

The survey was conducted by DOM UK, a specialist group of dietitians working in obesity management, and Slimming World.

Carolyn Pallister, Public Health Manager at Slimming Worldsaid:

“We support hundreds of thousands of members each week to navigate their way around our complex food environment.

“So we asked our members, many of whom are parents, about the pressure they are under from their children to pick up unhealthy snacks at checkouts.

“More than 70% of respondents clearly felt strongly that it affected their shopping and eating habits and made it difficult to stick to a healthy eating routine.

“Of course we don’t think snacks and treats should be banned completely, but we’ll do anything we can to help nudge members and their families to make healthy choices more easily.”

DOM UK has joined forces with Sustain and their Children’s Food Campaign, to help promote the ‘Chuck Junk off the Checkouts’ Campaign.

The Children’s Food Campaign carried out a survey in 48 branches of 14 national supermarkets and high street chains.

They examined the number of checkouts where food and drink was on display in each branch and assessed whether the food being promoted was healthy or not.

Their survey found that food was regularly displayed at the checkouts and in the queuing areas in these stores, and the vast majority of food promoted was unhealthy, with few healthy options on offer.

In many cases, the food was positioned to attract the attention of children – and was often within their easy reach.

Labour MP Virendra Sharma added:

“Retailers have been reluctant to remove junk food from checkout and queuing areas in their shops as it is very enticing to customers and lucrative for them. A crack down on this behaviour will be welcome as obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the UK.

“Removing unhealthy foods at checkouts will reduce the temptation for shoppers to buy sweets and fatty foods and help them make healthier choices at the end of a tiring shopping trip or when they are in a hurry.”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

Get the inside track on what MPs and Peers are talking about. Sign up to The House's morning email for the latest insight and reaction from Parliamentarians, policy-makers and organisations.

Read the most recent article written by Slimming World - Top UK firms back ground-breaking Government health campaign

Associated Organisation
Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more