Ban on two-for-one junk food deals delayed again over cost of living crisis | Politics News

A ban on two-for-one junk food deals is to be delayed by the government for a further two years in the face of the cost of living crisis.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has deferred again the planned ban on multi-buy promotions on products high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) to avoid restricting consumer options while prices remain high.

The buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) tires, which formed part of the anti-obesity strategy, had already been pushed back to October 2023, fueling speculation that it could be dropped completely.

It has now been put on hold until October 2025 while the government continues to review the impact it would have on shoppers and businesses, Downing Street said.

The move is likely to further dismay health campaigners, who have already accused the government of “delaying and dithering”.

Celebrity chefs JamieOliver protested outside Downing Street when it was previously put on hold.

The measure has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores which said it would help customers who are “facing enough challenges with inflation without legislation like this further increasing shopping bills”.

Mr Sunak said: “I firmly believe in people’s right to choose – and at a time when household budgets are under continuing pressure from the global rise in food prices, it is not fair for the government to restrict the options available to consumers on their weekly shop .

“It is right that we carefully consider the impact on consumers and businesses, while ensuring we’re striking a balance with our important mission to reduce obesity and help people live healthier lives.”

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Obesity costs the NHS around £6.5bn a year and is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer.

Around a quarter of adults and children aged 10-11 years in England are living with obesity, putting enormous pressure on the health system.

The government pointed out that it has already imposed restrictions on the placement of less healthy products in stores and supermarkets.

Calorie labeling in large restaurants, cafes and takeaways has also been introduced.

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New weight loss drug – how does it work?

Earlier this month, Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced a pilot scheme to expand access to weight-loss jabs is to tackle obesity and its related health issues such as type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Wegovy (semaglutide) was approved for NHS use after research suggested users could shed more than 10% of their body weight.

The drug suppresses the appetite, so people feel fuller and therefore eat less food.

Boris Johnson used his first Daily Mail column to detail how a weight-loss drug did not work well for him as he faced accusations his new journalistic role was a “clear breach” of ministerial rules.

In a 1,200-word article, the former prime minister discussed his limited personal experience with appetite-suppressants, but reached the conclusion that they could be used to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis.

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