Ban on BOGOF junk food offers may be reversed as cost of living soars

A reprieve for BOGOF? Boris Johnson may reverse planned ban on ‘buy one, get one free’ junk food offers as cost of living soars

  • Boris Johnson to ‘look again’ at BOGOF ban, which is set to come in this April
  • Ban on ‘buy one, get on free’ for unhealthy meals is part of anti-obesity strategy
  • Boris acknowledged policy has ‘nanny state’ overtones and could be reversed 

The ban on ‘buy one, get one free’ (BOGOF) deals for unhealthy foods could be reversed to help poorer families, the Daily Mail has learned.

A Tory source suggested the Prime Minister offered to ‘look again’ at the ban, set to come in this April in the Government’s anti-obesity strategy, during a crunch meeting with MPs on Monday evening.

Addressing his party, Boris Johnson acknowledged the policy had ‘nanny state’ overtones and could be reversed in light of the cost of living crisis.

The move is seen as a part of Operation Red Meat for the under-fire Prime Minister, in a bid to appease his party. 

The source said: ‘He made it clear that the obesity strategy is incredibly important – this is a huge problem for people’s health and has big costs for society.

‘But he said there is a legitimate question about whether the ban on BOGOF deals is too interventionist, too nanny state. 

‘There was a lot of support for the idea in the room and he promised to go away and have another look at it.’

One in four may not be able to afford their shop without the deals, a poll found.

A Tory source suggested the Prime Minister offered to ‘look again’ at the ban on BOGOF deals, set to come in this April in the Government’s anti-obesity strategy. (File photo)

At the time, the Food and Drink Federation’s chief scientific officer Kate Halliwell said ‘removing these promotions will add to the household’s food bill’.

Mr Johnson is also said to be looking again at the idea of a ban on junk food TV ads before the 9pm watershed – another anti-obesity policy that is criticised by some for being too interventionist. 

Set to come into force at the end of 2022, the regulations are intended to target childhood obesity.

Under the wider strategy announced in July 2020, shops and supermarkets were also required to remove foods high in fats, sugar and salt from prominent places, such as by the checkouts or near entrances.

The anti-obesity strategy is considered a personal crusade for the Prime Minister, who lamented that he was ‘too fat’ when he was struck down with coronavirus in April 2020.

Representatives from the British Heart Foundation, British Medical Association, Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of Physicians warned this week that ‘rowing back on this bold and vital evidence-based public policy at this point would be a grave error’.

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