The Battle Against Junk Food
The United Kingdom took it upon themselves to help prevent its children from developing childhood obesity. They started with junk food and “guilt lines.”
Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is tying all the loose ends he needs to before introducing new legislation that can help tackle the countries growing rates of childhood obesity. The legislation includes a proposal to ban two-for-one deals on junk food items in the UK’s supermarkets. Hunt is also considering the ban on “guilt lines” which are the stands of junk foods located near the cash register. They make buying junk food more convenient and increase the likelihood of a shopper making the last minute decision to buy.
Energy Drinks & Age Limits
In addition, there are rumors that Hunt wants to make it illegal to sell energy drinks to kids under the age of 16-years-old. Unlimited refills for soda is also up for removal in restaurants across the UK. Multiple British media outlets suspect that advertising for junk food may also have some restrictions of their own. The process of implementing all the new rules and restrictions are expected to be in full force by the end of the year.
What Is Junk Food
The UK is very specific about what they consider “junk food” These restrictions will target foods that are high in fat, sugar, and or salt. The goal that has Hunt is focusing on is removing two-for-one deals on these unhealthy items. Stores in the UK have gradually removed these products near the checkout areas. People believe that these high fat and high salt foods should not be in areas that put pressure on parents. Every kid can recall begging their parents to buy them candy from the checkout line and getting their way simply because the last minute pressure won.
Cartoons & Candy
The UK government is also considering banning cartoons from appearing on any junk food add. Their appearance strategically grabs a kids attention, making them want the candy. If the sugar rush is not enough, the kids see their favorite characters promoting an unhealthy snack.
Child Obesity Across the Globe
The UK is not alone in their struggle with childhood obesity. Rates are rising all over the globe. More than 40 percent of 9-year-old children in Cyprus-, Spain, and Italy, and Greece were found to be overweight or obese. It’s also found that the Mediterranean kids consume more sweets than fruits and veggies.
Although the new restrictions are harsher than ever before, the UK finds it vital that they’re carried through to keep the children healthy.