Today the UK government has unveiled its new strategy to tackle obesity. The key changes are detailed below.

New regulations:

  • Large restaurants, cafes and takeaways with more than 250 employees will be required to add calorie labels to the food they sell. Smaller business, may have to include calorie labels in the future. As of yet, it is not clear whether this covers food consumed in the venue or take-away options (or both)
  • There will be a ban on TV and online adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt before 9pm. Ahead of this, the government will also hold a new short consultation on whether the ban on online adverts should apply at all times of day.  Information should be published before the end of the year. So far, no details on what “high in fat, sugar and salt” means.
  • End of volume-led promotions, like ‘buy one get one free’ deals, on unhealthy food high in salt, sugar and fat. There will also be a ban on these items being placed in prominent locations in stores, such as at checkouts and entrances, and online. Shops will be encouraged to promote healthier choices and offer more discounts on food like fruit and vegetables. Again, not clarification yet on the levels of salt, sugar and fat that will make a product susceptible to this

However, it has not yet been clarified when these new rules will come into force.

The government is also undertaking consultations to consider what it can do going forward to do extend the measures:


  • The government will launch a consultation on whether pre-packaged alcoholic products should label calories. At this stage, it is therefore not a definite that this will happen. Calories to be displayed on menus to help people make healthier choices when eating out – while alcoholic drinks could soon have to list hidden ‘liquid calories’
  • The government will launch a consultation to gather views and evidence on the current ‘traffic light’ nutritional labelling system to learn more about how this is being used by consumers and industry, compared to international examples. The result may be that it is revised

More information can be found here

A lot of this relates to food products sold in supermarkets. Palm will be monitoring the situation carefully, particularly how it applies to advertising. We will update this blog and notify you as soon as the details are published so we can advise how, if at all, this should impact your communications strategies.