UK Restricts Displays of Unhealthy Foods

Sept. 30, 2022
New regulations go into effect Oct. 1 after months of delay.

British regulations about how unhealthy food products can be displayed in stores are set to go into effect Oct. 1, after a delay of about seven months.

The regulations from the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care forbid foods above a certain threshold in fat, salt and sugar from being marketed or merchandised in certain ways. They can’t be near checkouts or entrances, or positioned at the ends of aisles.

The new rules had been scheduled to go into effect by April, but were delayed after a plea from food retailers for more time. They still aren’t happy about the situation.

The head of Iceland, a major UK supermarket chain, told the BBC the rule “will cost us millions. I mean, it's complete madness. And actually, it will do absolutely nothing to curb obesity.”

The rules are scheduled to be enhanced next year with additional ones forbidding unhealthy products to be promoted with aggressive discounting like buy-one-get-one-free offers.

They also place restrictions on online food sales and on restaurants for offering things like free refills of sugary beverages.