Print Edition - 2018-12-27  |  Health and Living

Removing sweets could help tackle obesity

  • BATTLING OBESITY

Dec 27, 2018-

Removing sweets and crisps from supermarket checkouts could dramatically cut the amount of unhealthy snacks bought to eat on the go, say researchers.

Under pressure to act because of rising childhood obesity, some supermarkets have moved snacks away from the till, where people queuing—often with children—are tempted to put them in the shopping basket as they wait their turn.

Research shows the positioning of products at the checkout or on the end of aisles increases their sales. The findings suggest that many families who stop adding sweets and crisps at the counter appear not to buy them at all.

The government-funded study, published in the journal Plos Medicine, found that 76 percent fewer annual purchases of sugary confectionery and crisps were bought and eaten on the go from supermarkets that do not stock them at checkouts than at those that do.

The study used commercially held data from 7,500 shoppers who recorded food bought and eaten on the go during 2016-17 from supermarkets with and without checkout food policies. On the go purchases are often impulsive and can be the result of children pestering their parents.

Published: 27-12-2018 08:43

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