Most of you will be more than familiar with the so-called 'sharing bags' of sweets and chocolate you can get in the supermarket with those rubbish resealing stickers that fall off after 10 seconds. If you're like me you probably scoffed at the idea that it's possible to share a bag, since it's quite easy to eat the lot in one sitting. Well people campaigning for healthy living want them banned for that very reason.
A survey found that 22 per cent of adults and 35 per cent of 16-24 year olds eat the whole bag in one go, rather than eating a few and saving the rest for later. Action on Sugar isn't happy about that, and wants to deal with the UK's obesity crisis by instituting a 20 per cent tax on all sweets and chocolate. It's also demanding rules preventing retailers from putting them on offer, and has already called on Asda, Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisson's, and the Co-op to stop selling them at bargain prices.
The group also claims that banning sharing bags would, on average, cut seven grams of sugar from every person's diet each day.
Kawther Hashem, Researcher at Action on Sugar, said:
"Companies and supermarkets are constantly finding ways to push more sugary products – which are contributing to the high rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay in the UK. These types of price promotions encourage us to eat far too much sugar and calories and should be banned. It is time retailers are pressed to act responsibly and no longer profit at the expense of our health."
Meanwhile a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman has said:
"Current advertising restrictions in the UK on junk food are among the toughest in the world, including a ban on advertising junk food in children’s media. Alongside this we are delivering the most ambitious childhood obesity plan in the world-taxing sugary drinks, funding further research and cutting sugar and calories in food before it hits shelves and plates. But it’s very early days tackling a problem decades in the making, and we have not ruled out further action if the right results are not seen."
That doesn't stop supermarkets putting big shiny bags of chocolate at kid height, though, which means self-destructive grown-ups like myself have to bend down to get the good stuff.
Banning the bags themselves is probably never going to happen, especially since confectioners would likely find loopholes to keep them on the shelves somehow. But why the government doesn't add the 20 per cent tax, as it's doing with sugary drinks, is beyond me. If anything it might help reduce the sugar content in sweets,and it's not like it's necessary. I had some reduced sugar Randoms the other weeks, and they tasted fine. [Metro]