DESIGNED TO MAKE KIDS OBESE: Checkout Counter Displays

Why do checkout counter displays always sell sweets, chocolates, candies and other unhealthy snacks? And often at the eye level of kids?

A UK government-funded study showed that 76% fewer purchases of sweets and candies were bought from supermarkets that do not stock them at checkouts than at those that do.

The checkout displays tempt kids to put these items into the shopping carts when the family queue at the counters. The kids use their tantrum and pester power at the parents’ most vulnerable moments when there is an impatient crowd. A show-down would look bad and most parents will just give in to the unhealthy purchase.

Under pressure to act because of rising childhood obesity, some supermarkets have moved snacks away from the checkout.

Bryony Sinclair, a senior policy manager at the World Cancer Research Fund, welcomed the study. “Displaying sugary food and drinks at checkouts, tempting shoppers to make unhealthy last-minute decisions, is unacceptable,” she said.

“These evidence-informed policies can then be implemented by governments to create environments that support healthier choices, as eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and being overweight or obese increases the risk of 12 different types of cancer.”

The Government should stop such practices to fight obesity and its related diseases.