First Minister: Legislate this year on HFSS multi-buy price promotions

20 August 2019

Members of the Scottish Obesity Alliance have written to the First Minister to urge the Scottish Government to restrict price promotions on food and drink products high in fat, sugar and salt.

The letter, co-signed by 20 leading national health charities, medical royal colleges, campaign groups and professional bodies with an interest in health and public health working in Scotland, calls on the First Minister to take action and commit to legislation to regulate multi-buy price promotions of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt in Scotland in this autumn’s Programme for Government.

Elma Murray OBE, Chair of the Scottish Obesity Alliance, said “The Scottish Obesity Alliance have identified securing restrictions on multi-buy price promotions as one of the first actions that can be taken by the Scottish Government to work towards an ambition to reduce levels of overweight and obesity. It is therefore important that the new Programme for Government contains a commitment to make this a reality.”

Professor Steve Turner, Officer for Scotland for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said: "More than 28% of children in Scotland are overweight or obese. Research tells us that the food and drink children see strongly influences the food choices they make and how much they eat. With this in mind, it goes without saying, that in order to address Scotland's obesogenic environment Scottish Government must be bold in the restrictions it places on price promotion and marketing.”

Gordon Matheson, public affairs manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Carrying too much weight is the most common cause of avoidable cancer in Scotland after smoking and is a major public health crisis. Scotland cannot afford any delays in bringing forward legislation to tackle the price promotion of junk food. The need for regulation is compelling and the public is supportive. Now is the time for the Scottish Government to act."

Read the letter to the First Minister here.