December 7, 2023

Healthy Choice

Healthy Choice The Only Solution

Critics caution of potential consumer backlash to government’s HFSS stance

The government said its upcoming restrictions on products deemed high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) have been designed to help tackle the soaring obesity rate, especially among children.

NHS Digital data reveals the majority of the British population is overweight, with more than a quarter of adults and one in five children under 11 classed as obese. This is costing the country’s National Health System (NHS) more than £6bn a year.

Announcing the restrictions in July last year, Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the impact that an unhealthy weight can have on people’s health. We know families want the healthy choice to be the easy choice, and restricting promotions on unhealthy foods will help them achieve this.”

Public in for ‘a horrible shock’

However, FDF Scotland and SPQR Communications – both panellists on BakeryandSnacks’ healthy snacking webinar next month – believe the regulations will not make a dent on this crisis, and far from being helpful, could actually inflame an already pressurised society.

“While we can’t comment on ongoing legal action, we are disappointed the UK Government is pressing ahead​​ with this regulation when it is not expected to impact obesity rates,”​ said FDF Scotland’s spokesperson.

“For years, families have taken advantage of promotions on everyday food and drink such as yoghurts, breakfast cereals and ready meals. They have helped cut the price of shopping bills and encouraged people to try new and different products, many of which have been reformulated to meet government guidance.”