Charities make junk food restrictions call

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More than 20 health organisations have called for the Scottish Government to take action on multi-buy promotions for unhealthy food

20th August 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Charities have called for a crackdown on cut price junk food deals.

A letter to Nicola Sturgeon, backed by 20 health charities and professional bodies, has called for legislation to tackle multi-buy promotions on unhealthy food.

The organisations argue that reductions "encourage people to buy a greater number of unhealthy products", with nearly a third of Scottish adults considered obese.

The letter says: "Whilst the rate of childhood obesity levels has slowed down, it has not stopped or started to decline. This is a major public health crisis.

"It is time to be bold, for the Scottish Government to introduce legislation this year to regulate HFSS multi-buy price promotions.

"You will have the overwhelming support of the public and public health professionals if you act without delay."

Organisations who have signed the letter include the Scottish Obesity Alliance and Cancer Research UK.

Gordon Matheson, of Cancer Research UK, said: "Carrying too much weight is the most common cause of avoidable cancer in Scotland after smoking and is a major public health crisis.

"Scotland cannot afford any delays in bringing forward legislation to tackle the price promotion of junk food. The need for regulation is compelling and the public is supportive."

A Scottish Government spokesman said tackling obesity was "a public health priority".

He said: "Our Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan includes a wide range of bold measures designed to help families make healthier choices.

"One key component is ending our nation's damaging relationship with junk food that is high in fat, sugar or salt, and reducing associated health harms.

"One of the ways we are seeking to do this is by restricting the promotion and marketing of some of discretionary foods high in fat, sugar or salt with little or no nutritional benefit.

"We have consulted on the steps to achieve this and our analysis will be published in the near future."