The government are considering banning BOGOF and 2for1 deals to help tackle obesity. Is this the right approach? I don’t think so.
If we really want to tackle obesity why aren’t the government clamping down on the fast food outlets and TV advertising for McDonalds or KFC
I read this article in the Daily Mail yesterday and I honestly can’t see how scrapping BOGOF and 2for1 deals is going to tackle obesity.
The new proposals (apparently still up for discussion) come straight off the back of the government rolling out a voluntary code for the new ‘traffic light’ food labelling system. These labels show fat, sugar and calorie levels on the front of product packaging, helping consumers to see clearly how healthy/unhealthy food is at a glance.
Now I am all for educating the masses on the nutritional value of food and enabling parents to make better choices when it comes to feeding their children (and themselves). However, gearing up to penalise everyone by removing BOGOF and 2for1’s from our supermarket shelves I think is a bit unfair – especially for those who use these offers responsibly.
Let me explain from my perspective what removing these offers would mean for my family:
I live out in Buckinghamshire in a small town, so when I get the chance to go supermarket shopping once a week, I tend to take advantage of offers on the core items our household uses.
I have a choice of only two supermarkets where I live – a small Waitrose and a slightly bigger Sainsbury’s.
I have three children (the newest addition, Charlie, is just 14 weeks old and the other two are six and three and a half years old). So as you can imagine, I have lunchboxes to do and baby essentials to buy on top of all the regular food/essentials a family of five would consume.
Below are the items I reach out for without fail whenever there’s a deal on:
- Hand soap – (you’d be surprised how much we use with a new baby and two messy kids)
- Juice – we go through A LOT of juice
- Tyrell’s crisps – handmade, no nasties like additives or food colourings, and with 2for1 offers they’re not more expensive than other brands
- Baby wipes – I really don’t need to explain the economies on this one
- Yeo Vally yoghurts – the kids have yoghurt for breakfast and in their lunchboxes (I want to give my children a healthy option, so buying organic and getting two for the price of one suits me just fine)
- Pizza – sometimes my husband and I just fancy something easy after both working and feeling frazzled from the kids. We’re responsible adults and don’t eat pizza every day so BOGOF… yeah why not?!
- Maryland cookies – my husband is type one diabetic and has regular hypos, he eats this particular brand (almost half a packet at a time to get his blood sugar back up), getting BOGOF on this is a Godsend and we stock up in advance – sometimes six packs at a time!
As you can see from my explanation above, my bill on those items listed would be double if it wasn’t for the offers.
I don’t cram my trolley full of fat, sugar and calorie laden items, I don’t pull every multipack of Wotsits, Jammie Dodgers, Coca Cola and high sugar cereal off the shelves until it’s a tower! I act responsibly and use the offers to my advantage.
I appreciate and accept that there is research that shows that some deals aren’t in fact any cheaper than if you bought the items as singles in another store. But what happens when some people live with only one store close by?
Would you pay a delivery fee for online or drive a 10 mile round trip to get yoghurts from a different supermarket because they happen to be a few pence cheaper? I wouldn’t – simply because my time is limited, and I usually have one if not all of the children in tow.
I understand the growing issue we have with obesity (heck, according to my doctor I am obese on his ridiculous measurement chart!)
Tackling obesity starts with education and supporting the adults (whether that’s the parents, grandparents, friends, other family or at school) that influence the child’s food choices. Education needs to start at a young age, children need to be exposed to a variety of foods – healthy doesn’t always have to mean expensive.
If we really want to tackle obesity, why aren’t the government clamping down on the fast food outlets and TV advertising for McDonalds or KFC (who show happy children eating utter junk whilst playing with a free toy)? I don’t begrudge my children the odd Happy Meal, but I wouldn’t want it to become a habit.
As much as I would love to bang my drum and slam the supermarkets, at the end of the day, we are responsible on the large part for making the choices for our children and ourselves.
Darn, I skipped breakfast this morning and chose a Maryland cookie with my tea (one from a multipack purchase). This wasn’t because I had an abundance of them, or because that packet may have been the free one – it was because I felt like one after a long night of being awake with my baby.
As the old saying goes “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”.