What influences our food choices?
How important is the price?
Is cheap junk food fuelling our obesity crisis?
Food high in calories with excessive amounts of sugar, salt and fat which lack any nutritional value is generalized as junk food. The demand for junk food is evident as more and more fast-food outlets now domineer the majority of our high streets.
Is it the price tag £1.99 chicken and chips with a free drink that drives consumers to buy unhealthy food?
According to Public Health England there are many factors that determine our food choices:
There is a complex of external variables that influence our food choices, one of which is economic – the price! How much does this influence your decision(s) to buy a certain food or drink? According to Obesity Action Scotland (2016) price promotions play an important role.
- Promotions encourage people to buy more of a product or service
- In the whole of Europe, the UK has the highest proportion of food and drink bought on promotion (40%)
- The balance of promotions in Scotland is in favour of high sugar and fat food an drinks (50% vs 30%) which means that most promotions involve junk food (high in sugar, salt and fat) and sugary drinks
Action is needed to introduce a regulatory framework to phase out price promotions on foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
Chicken that has been deep fried is NOT a healthy choice or a nutritious form of protein. A study led by Leah Cahill, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health examined data from more than 100,000 men and women over 25 years. They found people who ate fried food at least once a week had a greater risk of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This increased as the frequency of fried food consumption increased.
Don’t be a statistic swayed by clever marketing campaigns and promotions – Just keep on walking past your local fast-food outlet, your health after all is priceless!