Welsh Government Sets Out Proposals for HFSS Restrictions and Under-16 Ban on Energy Drinks

The Welsh Government has today (9th June) launched two consultations as part of its ambition to tackle obesity in Wales, setting out proposals to restrict HFSS products in stores and introducing a minimum age of sale of 16 for energy drinks.

The ‘Healthy food environment’ consultation includes proposals under three main themes – promoting healthy food choices, improving the information available to customers, and promoting positive choices of food out of home. The consultation includes proposals similar to those being introduced in England on HFSS products, but with some key differences:

  • The Welsh Government is proposing to restrict ‘temporary price reductions’ of HFSS products in addition to multi-buys and other promotions
  • The Welsh Government is proposing to restrict the siting of HFSS products on ‘free standing display units’ in addition to at store entrances, at the tills, and at the end of aisles
  • The Welsh Government is proposing two possible options for the categories that are considered to be HFSS. One option would include products like cooking sauces, pasta with added ingredients, egg products and table sauces

There are currently no set timescales for the introduction of the proposals after the consultation period, but Wales’ overall health strategy states that ‘by 2030’ measures will be in place.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are very concerned about the prospect of slightly different and even more confusing rules on restricting HFSS products and promotional activity in Wales compared to England, and will be responding to the consultations in due course to outline the problems that differing HFSS rules will have on our members.”

The second consultation aims to use existing powers to end the sale of energy drinks to children and young people under 16. This consultation covers whether:

  • the ban of energy drinks should apply to children under 16
  • the ban be widened to consider other drinks typically high in caffeine such as tea and coffee
  • the ban should cover all shops, including through online environments

Mr Lowman continued: “We will play a full part in the consultation considering an age restriction on energy drinks and if this concludes that a ban should be introduced we will work with the Welsh Government to implement this.”

The consultations have been launched as part of the Welsh Government’s ten-year plan, Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales.

This entry was posted by Chris on Thu, 09/06/2022 - 10:56