Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has once again been forced to defer a ban on two-for-one junk food deals.
The Government has delayed the planned ban on multi-buy promotions on products high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) for a further two years.
The decision is aimed at avoiding the restriction of consumer options in the face of the cost of living crisis.
After already being pushed back to October 2023, speculation arose that the buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) ban could be dropped completely.
In order to review the impact it would have on shoppers and businesses, Downing Street said it had been put on hold until October 2025.
READ MORE: Jamie Oliver slams junk food BOGOF ban delay ‘Wasted opportunity’
The government has been accused of “delaying and dithering” in a move that is likely to upset health campaigners further.
When it was previously put on hold, Jamie Oliver, TV chef and author, protested outside Downing Street.
The Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed the measure, saying it would help customers who are “facing enough challenges with inflation without legislation like this further increasing shopping bills”.
“I firmly believe in people’s right to choose – and at a time when household budgets are under continuing pressure from the global rise in food prices, it is not fair for government to restrict the options available to consumers on their weekly shop,” said the Prime Minister.
He added: “It is right that we consider carefully the impact on consumers and businesses, while ensuring we’re striking the balance with our important mission to reduce obesity and help people live healthier lives.”
Restrictions on the placement of less healthy products in stores and supermarkets have already been imposed, the Government pointed out.
Calorie labelling has also been introduced in cafes, takeaways and large restaurants.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced a pilot scheme earlier this month to expand access to weight-loss jabs.
Its aim is to tackle obesity and its related health issues such as type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Wegovy (semaglutide), a drug that suppresses the appetite, was approved for NHS use.
Research suggested users could shed more than 10 percent of their body weight.
In a 1,200-word article, Boris Johnson discussed his unsuccessful personal experience with appetite suppressants.
The former prime minister used his first Daily Mail column to detail how a weight-loss drug did not work well for him but reached the conclusion that they could be used to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis.