Government commits to ‘world-leading’ junk food bill

Campaigners disappointed legislation won’t be brought in until 2020

Tuesday 3rd September 2019

Campaigners are urging the government to act quickly after first minister Nicola Sturgeon today pledged to clamp down on supermarket promotions on junk food.

Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health have been urging the Scottish Government to bring in legislation before the end of this year.

Polling shows Scots parents back a ban on these deals amid an “obesity epidemic”.

But the Scottish Government’s plans for the year ahead that were published today commit to introducing the bill in 2020.

Cancer Research UK describes the new law – that will restrict price promotions on unhealthy foods high in salt, fat and sugar – as “world-leading”.

However, the charity says it is “disappointing” that the legislation will not be introduced until the new year.

The organisation’s cancer prevention expert Professor Linda Bauld said: “Politicians must listen. Given our growing waistlines, they have a duty to act. Now’s the time to take bold action and turn the tide on obesity. The health of our nation depends upon it.

“Any hold up in introducing these measures is at the expense of Scotland’s health and life chances, as well as adding to the ever-growing burden on the NHS. Obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and so immediate action to help us all eat healthier diets is vital.

“At a time when more than a fifth of all children in Scotland are carrying too much weight and three in ten adults in Scotland are obese, the Scottish Government must timetable regulations so they can be introduced and passed before the next Scottish Parliament elections.”