Finally, people are noticing that the government seems to care a lot about the flu, but not so much about general health. Even if the worst doomsday scenarios about coronavirus were true, it wouldn’t begin to touch the obesity crisis.
So, the British government is pretending to do something.
Supermarkets in England are to be barred from displaying unhealthy food and drinks at checkouts or using them in buy one, get one free offers, as part of a proposed government crackdown on obesity.
The planned restrictions were praised by health campaigners as a “bold first step” in Downing Street’s promised campaign against obesity.
The checkout restrictions will apply to other sales-boosting locations such as the entrances to stores or at the end of aisles. Similar rules will apply for websites, banning sales links to unhealthy foods on places such as homepages, or at checkout or payment pages. Restaurants will no longer be able to offer free refills of sugary drinks.
The restrictions will not come into force until April 2022, and will be subject to a consultation process first.
The rules about promotions – which would also stop all bulk buy offers on high-fat or high-sugar food and drinks – would only apply to larger retailers, those with 50 or more employees. The limits on where unhealthy foods can be located is for shops over more than 2,000 sq feet, with exemptions for specialist retailers such as chocolate shops.
It follows Boris Johnson’s pledge earlier in the year to reduce levels of excess weight and obesity. Johnson made the commitment after his serious bout of coronavirus, which the prime minister believed was exacerbated by the fact he was overweight.
The plans were welcomed by campaign groups, with Action on Sugar saying ministers should resist any lobbying efforts by the food industry.
Prof Graham MacGregor, the group’s chair, said: “Finally, Downing Street is acting decisively with a bold first step to restrict the sale of junk food on multi-buy offers and at checkouts, and taking on one of the biggest threats to Britain’s future health – childhood obesity.”
This is totally weak.
I’ve already presented a plan: restrict transfats and high sugar or fructose items in the same way that cigarettes are restricted. After all, no one can argue that cigarettes are less safe.
But the government won’t do that.
Probably, they want people to be fat and stupid.