Should crisps and fizzy drinks be banned from meal deals?

Proposals include restricting multi-buys, unlimited refills or selling at locations such as at checkouts and front of store.

Should crisps and fizzy drinks be banned from meal deals?

This is among the plans in a junk food crack down proposed by the Scottish Government.

Tuesday is the last chance to respond to the public consultation on whether to ban the unhealthy drinks and snacks from meal deals.

The proposals include banning meal deals and multi-buy offers on unhealthy foods including buy one get one free and unlimited refills.

Restrictions on selling locations within a store, such as placing sugary drinks or fatty foods near tills where shoppers are likely to impulse buy, are also being considered.


It’s your last chance to have your say on plans that could see things like crisps and fizzy drinks banned from meal deals and multi-buy offers. Do you think they should be banned? Read more on the STV News website. #mealdeals #junkfood #junkfoodcrackdown #ScottishGovernment #stv #stvnews #scotland #haveyoursay #crisps #fizzydrinks

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The plans are billed as “rebalancing meal deals towards healthier options” and reducing purchases of foods high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS).

“If one or more components of a meal deal are an HFSS targeted food then the products could not be sold as a meal deal,” the proposals read.

You can begin the consultation online here until it closes.

‘Personal responsibility is not working’


Health experts welcomed the plans to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar or salt, as they warned relying on “personal responsibility” is not working.

Public Health Scotland and Food Standards Scotland called for “ambitious” plans to create a better relationship with food, and to combat heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

They highlighted that children living in poorer areas are more likely to be exposed to unhealthy food on their high streets, where childhood obesity rates are highest.

“If now is not the time to take action, when is?,” said Geoff Ogle, chief executive of Food Standards Scotland.

“When levels of overweight and obesity reach 85% from the current two-thirds of the adult population? ‘Not now’ cannot be an argument any longer.

“We can’t rely on personal responsibility alone to change our eating habits any longer: that approach has not worked for at least 40 years and won’t work now.”

Restrictions will drive up prices amid cost of living crisis

Unhealthy snacks could be banned from meal deals under proposalsSTV News

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) – a trade association for the country’s shops – said the planned rules are “disproportionate” and will increase prices for consumers while hampering small businesses.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, deputy head of the SRC, said: “Scottish ministers appear determined to put up prices despite consumers reeling from a cost-of-living crisis.

“These proposals will prevent retailers competing on price on any of the products caught by these rules, meaning shoppers miss out both on the benefits of competition but also from falls in inflation.

“The restrictions on placing these products in-store will make life harder for Scottish producers who will now have to compete with international brands with much greater consumer recognition.

“These disproportionate restrictions follow a bumper hike in business rate bills for medium sized and larger shops, as well as a mooted new surtax on food and drink retailers.

“All this will hinder rather than help retailers’ ability to keep down prices for Scotland’s shoppers during a cost-of-living crisis, the last thing Scotland’s hard-pressed consumers need.”

If implemented, the restrictions on unhealthy foods would be stronger than those in England where meal deals are excluded from the regulations on multi-buys.

Research found that multi-buy promotions encouraged “increased consumption”.

What does the Scottish Government say?

The 12-week consultation was launched in February to give members of the public a chance to have their say on the plans.

Public health minister Jenni Minto said: “Improving health and supporting people to eat well and have a healthy weight is a public health priority. We need to address the high levels of excess weight, obesity and poor diet we know are contributing to worsening trends in Scotland’s health.

“The association between these issues and health outcomes such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers has been established for some time.

“We want to ensure Scotland is a place where we eat well and have a healthy weight.

“The Scottish Government is committed to restricting promotions of foods high in fat, sugar or salt at the point of purchase as research shows this is when people make decisions about what and how much to buy, for themselves and their families.

“This consultation, together with our Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan, demonstrates the ambitious and wide-ranging action we believe is needed to address this challenge, and support improvements in diet and health and wellbeing in Scotland.

“The consultation will run in parallel with an extensive programme of inclusive stakeholder engagement, to improve the process of developing, implementing and reviewing regulations to meet our long-term public health and economic aims.”

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