Hungry woman looking at yummy donut from under table, angel and devil tempting her, orange studio background, collage. Panorama. Concept of choice between healthy diet and unhealthy foods
/ The Big Issues
/ The Big Issues

Will new HFSS rules change our eating habits?

The UK Government is planning to introduce a raft of restrictions on the promotion of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) – but will they actually make any difference?

The idea behind the proposals is to improve public health.  But will we actually develop new, healthy shopping habits once the regulations come in?

In this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we look at the evidence to see how shopping and eating habits might change.

What does the research show? How will impulse purchasing be affected? In short, what happens when our favourite foods are no longer quite so visible?

The Government recently announced that it was delaying some of the restrictions.

That has caused lots of controversy and no doubt we will revisit the topic in the weeks ahead.

But here’s how things stand as of June 2022:

A ban on buy-one-get-one free deals on food and drink that is high in fat, salt and sugar, as well as free refills for soft drinks, has been postponed by 12 months and won’t be introduced before October 2023.

Plans to restrict TV advertising of HFSS products before the nine o’clock watershed have also been delayed by a year, until January 2024.

But restrictions on where HFSS products can be placed in shops will still go ahead in October 2022.

Malcolm Clark, Senior Prevent Policy Manager, Cancer Research UK

Malcolm oversees Cancer Research UK’s policy work on tobacco, obesity and other cancer prevention risk factors.

He has been at the forefront of obesity policy and advocacy for the past decade – first with Children’s Food Campaign (part of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming) and since 2018 at Cancer Research UK

He sat on Public Health England’s review of the Nutrient Profile Model, and was part of the team which implemented the HFSS ad ban across Transport for London sites. 

Malcolm sits on the steering groups of the Obesity Health Alliance and the Alcohol Health Alliance

Hannah Skeggs, Health and Sustainable Diets Manager, IGD

Hannah is a nutritionist (ANutr), passionate about aligning commercial interest with health and sustainability.

Working in industry for Danone and Unilever, she successfully led reformulation projects to reduce sugar, fat, energy and salt whilst maintaining taste and ensuring product growth.

Now as Health and Sustainable Diets Manager at IGD, she works collaboratively with industry to understand how store environments and product formulation can help consumers to eat healthier and more sustainably in the future.

Share this episode: