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Friday 21st October 2016

Supermarkets push unhealthy foods

1st September 2008

The National Consumer Council has conducted research which shows that more than 50% of supermarket promotions are for "unhealthy foods".


The NCC visited eight leading supermarkets to conduct the research, which showed that there were double the number of these types of promotions since their last report in 2006.

The Council looked at supermarkets in Sheffield, visiting Asda, the Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Somerfield, Tesco and Waitrose.

Each supermarket was given a rating on the type of promotions it displayed, how much salt was contained in own-brand food, how nutrition labels were used, how many sweet foods were on display at cash registers and what kind of healthy lifestyle data was shown.

Since 2006, promotions have risen by 17% to 4,300. However, only 12% of these promotions were for healthy foods. This is significantly less than the 33% that the NCC has recommended.

It discovered that 54% of promotions were for unhealthy foods, although current health recommendations are that only 7% of foods eaten should be from this group.

Morrisons had the "worst" score out of the supermarkets. Nearly two-thirds - 63% - of their promotions were for foods containing fat and sugar, an increase from 39% two years before.

Sainsbury's had the highest score for promoting healthy eating and having the best customer data available.

Saranjit Sihota, of the charity Diabetes UK, said: "Increasing the promotion of unhealthy foods in supermarkets clearly fuels the ticking time-bomb of obesity in this country."

Lucy Yates, who compiled the NCC report, said: "We expected to see evidence of big improvements since our last investigation, but we've been sadly disappointed."

"Despite their claims, the supermarkets all still have a long way to go to help customers choose and enjoy a healthier diet."



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