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A national obesity strategy must consider the impact on small stores providing a key service to local communities, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said today following the release of government plans to ban ‘buy one get one free’ promotions and restrict the siting of high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products.

A national obesity strategy must consider the impact on small stores providing a key service to local communities, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said today following the release of government plans to ban ‘buy one get one free’ promotions and restrict the siting of high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products.

The ACS outlined measures in the government’s strategy which would impact local shops, and include: legislation to end promotions of HFSS products by volume and prominent location; a consultation on calorie labelling in out-of-home locations for businesses with over 250 employees - the status of franchise businesses will be reviewed in the consultation; a consultation on introducing calorie labelling for pre-packaged alcoholic drinks; a consultation on enhancing traffic light nutritional labelling on food packaging; a ban on advertising HFSS on TV and online before 9pm before the end of 2022.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Government policy and resource needs to be focused on expanding choice and healthy food availability, not on regulations that would make life harder for shops that are maintaining access to food for their communities.

“Restrictions on where products can be sited would not be workable for small stores. Convenience stores are small, so the introduction of restrictions on where products can be sited would present retailers with significant practical and operational challenges.”

As part of the strategy, the Government has launched the ‘Better Health’ campaign with Public Health England to encourage people to live healthier lives and reduce their risk of serious illnesses such as COVID-19.

ACS has engaged with a number of campaigns designed to promote best practice in the sale of fruit and vegetables and increase healthy food provision including Change4Life, Healthy Start and the Food Foundation’s Pea Please initiative.