Posted: Mon 1st Jul 2024

Welsh Government: Consultation launched on plans to introduce new laws to curb promotion of foods high in fat and sugar

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

The Welsh Government launched a consultation on new legislation plans aimed at promoting healthier food choices in Wales.

Led by Eluned Morgan MS, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, legislation will seek to curb the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt in a bid to encourage healthier eating habits.

The proposed legislation, detailed in a written statement published today, 1 July 2024, is part of the government’s broader strategy to improve the food environment in Wales.

“I am committed to supporting people in Wales to make the healthy choice the easy choice when food shopping and eating out,” stated Ms Morgan.

The consultation includes a draft text of the Regulations, which outline restrictions on the location and price promotions of less healthy products, including sugary drink refills.

The aim of the draft regulations is to make the healthy choice the easiest choice for Welsh consumers by:

Restricting volume price promotions of high fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) products, which can encourage overconsumption. This includes multi-buy offers (for example, buy one get one free) and free refills of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Restricting the placement of HFSS food and drink products at key selling locations, which can lead to pester power and impulse purchases of HFSS products. This includes areas such as store entrances, checkouts, and aisle ends.

This legislative effort is aligned with similar regulations in England and proposed measures in Scotland, aiming for a cohesive approach across the UK.

Ms Morgan highlighted that evidence indicates that products with poor nutritional value are disproportionately promoted, significantly influencing consumer purchases.

“I am determined to support the industry to increase the pace and scale of action to produce and market healthier food and drink products,” she added.

The draft Regulations are expected to be laid in the Senedd before the end of 2024, with the aim of coming into force in 2025.

There will be a 12-month implementation window for businesses and enforcement bodies to adapt to the new rules.

The Welsh Government believes this legislation will be a crucial step towards creating a healthier food environment, encouraging the industry to offer a more balanced range of food options.

The consultation also revisits the issue of energy drink consumption among children.

Following a 2022 consultation on restricting energy drink sales to under-16s, the government is now calling for evidence to further understand the societal impacts of energy drink consumption by children.

Ms Morgan said: “Officials will work closely with stakeholders to ensure that clear and comprehensive guidance for the food industry is in place at the time any legislation is laid.”

“I will set out my proposals to take forward other proposed measures included in our Healthy Food Environment consultation in 2022 shortly, together with a broader range of approaches to support the sector to produce and promote affordable healthy food options for everyone.”

The consultation is available at: Proposals to make the food environment healthier

[Photo: depositphotos.com]

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