Wales may outlaw junk food in an effort to combat obesity

Image of a multibuy deal

In a new Welsh government initiative to combat obesity, meal deals and multi-buy offers may be outlawed.

Ministers, however, have received a letter from the Welsh Retail Consortium warning them that this could harm food producers, limit their options, and raise food prices.

The legislation aims to spread awareness of better foods, as well as to lessen health disparities and preventable deaths.

According to the Welsh government, it held extensive consultations with business leaders.

Despite suggestions in the proposal that meal deals be exempt from the prohibition, the Welsh government stated that no concrete plans have yet been made in response to the closure of the consultation.

The bans being considered are listed in the original consultation document as:.

  • Price cuts that are momentary.
  • offers for multiple purchases where a discount is given if a specific amount is made.
  • Volume discounts and "meal deal" offers, where buying multiple items results in a lower price.

In England, proposals for similar bans have been approved.

Members could support some of the proposals, like multi-buy bans, the consortium's head Sara Jones told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.

We are aware of how crucial it is for the government to combat obesity and promote public health, she added.

But in contrast to the health advantages, she claimed that prohibiting meal deals and seasonal promotions would have a "disproportionate" effect on producers.

People like me, a busy mother of two, are searching for an easy lunch option.

Because of those purchasing decisions, she claimed, "I won't overconsume, and banning them will only result in restrictions in terms of availability and affordability for the consumer.".

According to her, discounts are made possible by promotions that encourage retailer competition for customers.

"With inflation at an 18-year high, raising costs in this way without any proof that it would significantly improve public health would be regressive and irresponsible. ".

Multibuy deals photo
Business executives claim they would be willing to back the ban on multi-buy offers.

"The Welsh government must ensure that any policy does not raise the price of food for the people of Wales at a time when households across the country are finding it difficult to make ends meet," said David Thomson of the Food and Drink Federation Cymru.

"It is also essential that Welsh food and drink producers compete on an equal footing with their counterparts in other UK regions. ".

The Association of Convenience Stores' chief executive, James Lowman, claimed that the proposed regulations were "unnecessarily inconsistent" with those already established in England.

The retailer would be under "additional pressure to start from scratch on store layouts at a cost of thousands of pounds," he claimed.

According to a representative for the Welsh government, the proposals are made to support long-term health and wellbeing.

"We've been talking about this with business people, and we've consulted widely. We are thinking about where to put price promotions and where not to put them.

"In addition to the significant negative effects that obesity has on people's health, the cost of living crisis will be carefully taken into account in our decision-making.

"Any special measures will be made to encourage wholesome foods, lessen health disparities, and prevent early death.

. "

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