In a bold move to combat the rising obesity rates in Wales, the Welsh Government is set to introduce new laws to restrict price promotions on high-fat, salt, and sugar-content foods. These groundbreaking measures, scheduled for implementation by 2025, aim to reshape the food environment by curbing multi-buy options for unhealthy products and regulating their display in shops and supermarkets, particularly at aisle ends.
While meal deals and food promotions will not be banned outright, the legislation will limit their availability to the unhealthiest items. By doing so, the Welsh Government hopes to encourage the food and retail industry to prioritize affordable, healthier alternatives for consumers nationwide.
Startling statistics reveal that 60% of adults in Wales exceed a healthy weight, with over a quarter of children already overweight or obese by the time they start school. Lynne Neagle, and the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, highlighted the unity of this legislation with the Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales strategy. It aims to reshape the future generations’ perception of “typical” dietary preferences, emphasizing healthier choices.
Support for the proposal has poured in from various quarters, including Gemma Roberts, Co-Chair of Obesity Alliance Cymru, who believes that reining in price promotions will help families make purchasing fruits and vegetables more accessible. Dr. Ilona Johnson, a Consultant in Public Health for Public Health Wales, stressed the significance of a robust legislative framework in achieving healthier choices and healthier people.
As the Welsh Government plans to launch a consultation on enforcement measures later this year, these efforts highlight a determined push to rebalance the food environment and empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health.