New analysis by the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) has revealed that 43% of all food and drink products in supermarket hot spots were for sugary foods and drinks. They say that displaying unhealthy products in areas such as store entrances, end of isles or at the till can encourage shoppers to buy more of these products.
The OHA visited five supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco – to survey the types of food and drinks products that are promoted in prominent locations in-store.
The findings reveal:
- 43% of all food and drink products located in prominent areas, such as store entrances, checkout areas or aisle ends were for sugary foods and drinks.
- Three of the five supermarkets surveyed had sugary food and drinks such as chocolate and sweets positioned at checkout areas.
- In Asda, 73% of food and drink products promoted at checkouts were sugary foods including sweets and chocolate bars.
- In Morrisons, 47% of food and drink products promoted at checkouts were sugary foods including sweets and chocolate bars.
- In Aldi, 30% of food and drink products promoted at checkouts were sugary foods including flapjacks and popcorn.
- The use of moveable free-standing display units (FSDUs) to promote sugary products was particularly common. 79% of products included in FSDUs were sugary foods.
- Less than 1% of food and drink products located in high profile areas were fruit or vegetable products.
Commenting on the analysis, Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said
The Government is getting ready to consult on whether to restrict the location of unhealthy place promotions in supermarkets so this analysis comes at an important time.
As a children’s doctor who is seeing the destructive nature of obesity and its associated conditions in patients – some as young as seven - I fully support this proposal and hope this, along with the other measures outlined in the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan are acted upon. However, more needs to be done to support the 20% of 10 and 11-year-olds who are obese to lose weight now. The Government has a second opportunity via its Long-Term Plan to increase capacity and access to specialist weight management services and we look forward to working with the Government to develop this proposal.
Find out more about the OHA's analysis on their website.