Published On: Thu, Mar 6th, 2014 on 5:26 pm

Wakefield retailers told to get rid of junk food on counters

Shop Counter Sweets

Shops and stores in Wakefield have been urged to get rid of junk foods such as sweets and crisps on their checkouts to help tackle obesity in the region.

The step to make a change comes on the back of an investigative commission of 22 retailers that was carried out by the Council last year, which found that many major supermarkets and stores in the district stocked sweets, crisps and other unhealthy snacks at the checkout.

The participants of the commission were later given the results and were advised to improve their policies on the sale of snacks.

Dr Andrew Furber, Director of Public Health at Wakefield Council, now wants retailers across the district to make a change.

He said: “We all need to work together to tackle unhealthy weight, which can cause serious health conditions including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

“Most people agree that junk food at checkouts contributes to weight problems, and the majority of parents tell us they support junk food removal as they feel it is difficult to protect their children from these promotions.”

Early this year, researchers at Sheffield University visited several big-name stores in their city and found that 90% of products were ‘very unhealthy’, whilst sugar-free gum was the healthiest item on display.

Dr Jason Horsley, a Lecturer at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), said: “The checkout is an area which all shoppers must pass through, so displays of highly desirable calorie-dense foodstuffs are an unavoidable exposure.”

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