England is finding new ways to crack down on unhealthy foods

The food and drink industry has warned of “devastating” results for consumers and businesses if the UK government moves ahead with plans to restrict how supermarkets sell and advertise chocolate, soda and other foods high in sugar, salt and fat as part of a wider push to tackle obesity.

The new rules will apply to retailers in England with over 50 employees and will kick in by April 2022, the Department of Health and Social Care said. Stores smaller than 2,000 square feet and specialist retailers, such as chocolatiers and sweet shops, will be exempt from some of the restrictions.

Offers for unhealthy foods that require shoppers to buy more items to take advantage of the discount — such as “buy one get one free” or “3 for 2” promotions — will be prohibited in stores and online. The constraints extend beyond chocolates, soft drinks, potato chips, pastries, breakfast cereals, pizzas, ready meals and battered products, such as breaded chicken and fish.

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