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Action on Sugar

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Limit the Availability of Unhealthy Foods and Drinks

Environments including retail outlets and public institutions such as hospitals and leisure centres are often designed to entice children and parents to make unhealthy food choices.

A recent survey of approximately 2,000 adults in the UK showed that 83% have been pestered by their children to buy unhealthy food and drinks at the checkouts and 75% of those parents had given in to their children and purchased something. Legislating to limit foods high in fat, sugar and salt (as defined by the Ofcom nutrient profiling model) will create a level playing field.

This policy would mean that retailers and other institutions would have to stop undermining parents’ efforts to give their children a healthy diet. Public opinion shows this would also be beneficial to retailers, as 56% of people would more likely shop at a supermarket if it were to ban unhealthy food at the checkouts. Provided this was properly enforced using legislation, it would ensure a level playing field and no reason for a business not to comply.

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