Ban multibuy offers on junk food, Government told

Istock-926538802 (1)

Coalition of medical experts call for urgent legislation to tackle obesity epidemic. 

24th June 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Multibuy promotions on sugary or fat-laden foods should be banned in Scotland, a coalition of doctors and public health experts have said.

In an open letter to the Scottish Government, the group calls for legislation this year to tackle the “obesity epidemic”.

They say obesity is Scotland’s biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and causes around 2,200 cases of the disease every year.

Obesity can also be a contributing cause to 13 types of cancer including bowel, breast womb and kidney.

“Scotland is a nation in the midst of an obesity epidemic,” the letter sates.

“Shockingly, 65% of adults and almost a third of Scotland’s children are overweight. Scots are the heaviest in the UK and among the most overweight in Europe.

“The Scottish Government must take action and commit to legislation in this autumn’s Programme for Government to regulate multi-buy type price promotions of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt.

“Every day in Scotland an overwhelming 110 tonnes of sugar are purchased on promoted offers such as 3-for-2chocolate bars or buy-one-get-one-free mega bags of crisps which are of no nutritional value.

“Research shows that shoppers who purchase more on promotion are more likely to be overweight or obese. We also know that two-thirds of Scots support restrictions on multi-buy promotions. The case is compelling. Now’s the time to act and turn the tide on obesity. The health of our nation depends upon it.”

The letter’s signatories include paediatricians, campaigners and cancer specialists, as well as representatives from the Scottish Obesity Alliance and Obesity Action Scotland.

Gordon Matheson, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Price promotions on junk food encourage people to fill their shopping trolleys with unhealthy food which is eaten all too quickly.

“New laws to restrict junk food price promotions will take away the temptation that’s contributing to this obesity crisis and go a long way to helping people to keep a much healthier weight.

“The consequences of obesity on the lives of children and adults in Scotland is shocking so it’s vital the Scottish Government commits to legislation this year.”