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To reign in childhood obesity, the UK is banning chocolate at the checkout aisle, as well as prohibiting the sale of energy drinks. Should we do the same here?
If there’s one thing that links the adult versions of us with our obsolete juvenile versions, it’s the impulse purchasing of the confectionery at the checkout. They’re cheap, and they represent a perfect antidote to all the healthy options in your trolley that you’re going to attempt to exercise.
No harm, no foul right? You’ll eat in the car. You’ve earned some needless angst. Well, no. Over in the UK, they even have an alarmist term for those trays that tempt you off the path of virtue.
They’re also endeavouring to shut them down, but not for our benefit, rather the children of today. This is but one measure of the UK attempting to rectify their burgeoning childhood obesity problem, which currently has one in five fitting the definition.
Beginning in 2020, they will also block television programs from airing ads for foods high in sugar and salt before 9 in the evening. Added to the is a ban “buy one, get one free”, and it will also ban celebrities and cartoon characters from appearing in junk food advertisements.
Elsewhere in the UK, several major supermarkets announced that they would stop selling energy drinks to children under age 16. The Telegraph reports that the government may also opt to make that ban industry-wide. The English of the report stated: “here are large numbers of retailers who have not imposed such a restriction…it is important for us to create a level playing field for businesses so that retailers that take action on this issue are not disadvantaged, and to stop children from simply switching from one retail outlet to another to buy energy drinks.”
To be fair, it’s a fairly sound plot, and considering our childhood obesity problem is much larger than theirs, perhaps this should represent the first steps to change on more familiar shores.