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Food: Advertising

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 9009, tabled on 25 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential health impact for consumers and businesses of including fruit and nut-based bars under the restrictions for high fat, sugar and salt products.

Answered on

9 June 2022

The Government decided the restrictions of foods high in fat, salt or sugar in stores and online should apply to a specified list of categories which are significant contributors to children's sugar, salt, and calorie intakes and are heavily promoted. Products within these categories are considered less healthy if they receive a score of four or more for food or a drink product scores one or above, using the 2011 technical guidance to the 2004/2005 Nutrient Profiling Model (NPM). The 2004/2005 NPM is being applied as it is based on scientific evidence and provides an overall assessment of the nutritional content of products considered by balancing the beneficial nutrients of a product including fruit, vegetables and nuts, fibre and protein content against components of food that children should eat less of, such as saturated fat, sugar, salt, and calories. The categories in the sugar and calorie reduction and reformulation programmes have been used as a basis as they were formulated following research and analysis undertaken by Public Health England (PHE). The categories identified everyday foods that contribute significantly to the sugar and calorie intakes of children up to the age of 18 years old. For the sugar reduction programme, PHE held stakeholder engagement between 2016 and 2017 to inform decisions on the categories included in the programme and ensure the application of a consistent approach to businesses and products. A similar approach was used for the calorie reduction programme. The impact assessments for the promotions and placement restrictions, published in December 2020, show the overall health benefit is significant and takes into account the proportionality and feasibility of restricting specific product categories. Definitions of product categories in scope of the advertising restrictions are to be included in a consultation which will be launched shortly.