Limiting the outside promoting of excessive fats, salt and sugar (HFSS) meals and drinks throughout the Transport for London (TfL) community is estimated to have considerably decreased the typical quantity of energy bought by households each week from these merchandise, in keeping with new analysis in PLOS Medication.
Led by the London Faculty of Hygiene & Tropical Medication (LSHTM), the examine used knowledge on almost two million grocery purchases of HFSS meals and drinks to estimate the impact of the coverage, which noticed restrictions on promoting throughout the TfL property. This contains the London Underground, the TfL Rail community, and at bus stops.
They discovered the coverage was related to an estimated 1,001 kcal (6.7%) lower in common weekly family purchases of power from HFSS merchandise in contrast with what would have occurred with out the coverage. Most strikingly, the typical weekly purchases of power from chocolate and confectionary fell by 317.9 kcal (19.4%).
Common weekly family purchases of fats, saturated fats and sugar from HFSS merchandise have been equally decrease in intervention households in London in comparison with anticipated ranges in households not uncovered to the intervention: fats (57.9 g; 6.5%), saturated fats (26.4 g; 7.3%) and sugar (80.7g; 10.5%).
The group discovered some restricted indication that results have been bigger in households with people residing with weight problems.
Dr. Amy Yau, from LSHTM and examine first creator, stated that “many governments and native authorities are contemplating promoting restrictions to scale back consumption of excessive fats, salt and sugar (HFSS) merchandise as a part of weight problems prevention methods. Nevertheless, proof of the effectiveness of such insurance policies, particularly away from broadcast media, is scarce.”
“Our examine helps to plug that information hole, displaying Transport for London’s coverage is a possible vacation spot for decision-makers aiming to scale back diet-related illness extra broadly.”
Insurance policies that limit the promoting of HFSS merchandise have been promoted as doubtlessly efficient instruments to scale back the acquisition and consumption of HFSS merchandise, with the purpose of enhancing weight loss program, lowering weight problems and diet-related ailments and tackling well being inequalities.
In November 2018, restrictions on the outside promoting of HFSS meals and drinks throughout the Transport for London (TfL) community have been introduced by the Mayor of London and have been totally carried out on 25 February 2019.
The group behind this new analysis wished to seek out out if this coverage may contribute to enhancements in weight loss program by lowering power and vitamins bought from HFSS merchandise. Within the absence of dietary knowledge, the group used precise family food and drinks buy knowledge collected by Kantar, a industrial shopper knowledge firm, to judge the influence of the intervention.
The examine ran from 18 June 2018 to 29 December 2019, and in contrast common weekly purchases of HFSS merchandise in 977 London households to an estimate of what would have occurred with out the coverage. This estimate was primarily based on the development in buying in London earlier than the coverage and modifications seen in households in a management space (North of England) after the coverage was carried out, which accounts for secular developments and seasonal variation in HFSS buying.
After controlling for key elements together with intercourse, age, socioeconomic place, quantity of adults and youngsters within the family, and festivals akin to Christmas, they estimated the modifications in family purchases of power and vitamins from HFSS merchandise related to the TfL promoting coverage.
Assuming a mean family dimension of two.6 folks within the pattern, and a good power distribution, the group estimated that the intervention diminished power purchases by 385 energy per particular person per week—equal to each Londoner within the examine buying about 1.5 fewer customary dimension bars of milk chocolate per week.
Professor Steven Cummins, from LSHTM and Chief Investigator of the examine, stated that “the impacts we noticed are bigger than these reported for the UK Tender Drinks Trade Levy, these predicted for a 9PM promoting watershed on HFSS meals or a 20% tax on sugary snacks.”
“The findings are notably important in gentle of the Well being Invoice at present going via Parliament, as they supply additional proof for the effectiveness of promoting restrictions and assist assist the case for the Authorities’s proposed ban on the internet marketing of excessive fats, salt and sugar meals and drinks.”
The group say that whereas the outcomes are encouraging, the discovering are within the context of precise will increase in purchases of HFSS merchandise in intervention and management areas over the examine interval, which means intervention was efficient in lowering development of HFSS purchases quite than reaching absolute reductions in HFSS purchases.
Professor Cummins stated that “extra work is required, however our examine suggests a majority of these insurance policies may have a big influence on lowering consumption of excessive fats, salt and sugar meals, and provide a doubtlessly efficient intervention in different vital public well being coverage areas such because the regulation of alcohol and playing promoting.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, stated that “it’s a scandal that London has such excessive ranges of kid weight problems and, that in a metropolis as affluent as ours, the place you reside and the quantity you earn can have such an enormous bearing on whether or not you’ve got entry to wholesome and nutritious meals.”
“There isn’t any denying that promoting performs an infinite position in placing much less wholesome food and drinks within the highlight, and I’m happy to see the constructive influence these groundbreaking measures have had, resulting in an actual discount within the quantity of junk meals being bought.”
The authors acknowledge limitations of the examine, together with that it was targeted on merchandise to take residence (grocery buy) and didn’t embrace takeaway purchases from fast-food shops, eating places, cafes and so forth. Results could be bigger if takeaway purchases had been included.
Amy YauI et al, Adjustments in family food and drinks purchases following restrictions on the commercial of excessive fats, salt, and sugar merchandise throughout the Transport for London community: A managed interrupted time sequence evaluation, PLOS Medication (2022). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003915
Transport for London’s promoting restrictions linked to reductions in excessive fats, salt and sugar product purchases (2022, February 17)
retrieved 17 February 2022
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