Refills of sugary soft drinks in restaurants to be banned under new anti-obesity regulations

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Refills of sugary soft drinks in restaurants to be banned under new Government anti-obesity regulations

Related tags: Obesity, Government, Sugar, Free soft drinks

Free refills of sugary soft drinks will be prohibited in the eating-out sector from next year under Government plans to tackle obesity.

The new regulations, which come into effect in April 2022, will also prohibit retailers from offering 'multi-buy promotions' such as ‘buy one get one free’ or 'three-for-two’ offers on food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS).

Unhealthy promotions, meanwhile, will no longer be featured in key locations, such as at checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents.

The plans form part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s anti-obesity drive, which was launched in July last year in response to research showing that being obese or overweight puts people at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19.

Other ideas that have previously been mooted include a possible ban on TV advertising for HFSS products​​​, and a total ban​ on online adverts.

It has already been confirmed that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to force restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways with more than 250 employees to add calorie labels to menus​.

"We know families want to be presented with healthier choices," says Public Health Minister Jo Churchill.

"This is why we are restricting promotions and introducing a range of measures to make sure the healthy choice is the easy choice.

"Creating an environment which helps everyone eat healthier foods more regularly is crucial to improving the health of the nation."

An eight-week technical consultation has been launched today to seek views from industry stakeholders and enforcement bodies on how these policies can be implemented.

Related topics: Legislation

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