Sweets, GPs prescribing bike rides and calories on menus: What's in PM's obesity plan?

July 27, 2020

Boris Johnson has announced a range of measures to encourage the nation to lose weight.

From banning junk food TV adverts to calorie counts on menus, here are the key measures:

Shops

Stores will be barred from pushing "buy one, get one free" promotions on unhealthy products as the government looks to reduce the temptation to snack.

Supermarket managers will also be banned from placing confectionery in tempting locations, such as store entrances and beside checkouts, and will instead be encouraged to offer more discounts on fruit and vegetables.

Advertising

The prime minister's strategy will put an end to junk food adverts on television and online before the 9pm watershed in a bid to shield youngsters at a time when their food preferences are being set.

The government will also hold a consultation into whether the planned internet advertising restrictions could be wider-reaching, with a total ban on advertising food high in fat, sugar or salt an option under consideration.

Calorie counting

Ministers will introduce new legislation forcing restaurants and takeaways with more than 250 employees to add calorie labels to their menus to assist diners in making more informed choices.

The Department of Health said a consultation would follow before the end of the year to help decide whether the same type of calorie labelling on alcohol should be required.

NHS interventions

To help people lose the pounds, NHS weight management services will be expanding, with more smartphone apps rolled out with the purpose of improving lifestyle and overall health.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will also see improvements.

GPs will be encouraged to prescribe exercise and other social activities to help people keep fit, with cycling pilots in the poorest areas set to provide bikes to entice people into upping their activity levels.

Food packet labelling

A consultation - the third associated with the strategy - will gather evidence on how the current "traffic light" labelling system on food packets is being used by consumers and industry, while comparing it to other international examples.

The labelling is used to highlight the fat content and other barometers of how healthy a product is to help shoppers understand what is in the food they buy.

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