Lidl is the first supermarket in the UK to start tackling obesity. It has currently been reported that they are going to be removing all chocolates, sweets and crisps from its 600 stores across the UK. The reason for this is the fact that they wanted to promote healthy snacks as appose to unhealthy options, which many parents are tempted to buy.

However, according to the national obesity forums report, it was noted that by 2050, half of all Britons will be obese. It did not consider age implications. Meanwhile, doctors and academics have called for stores to reduce the sugar levels that are found in processed foods and drinks. It is not just chocolate, crisps and sweets, which are a cause of obesity.

Lidl on the other hand has had other ideas. This is due to the results of its survey where it has been the first supermarket to ban chocolate, sweets and crisps, and encourage parents to get their children eating healthily.

The managing director of Lidl UK, Ronny Gottschlich, said that they are committed to raising the awareness about the importance of balanced diets.

He added that he wanted to make it easier for his customers to select the healthy choices. He told reporters: “Parents are in favour of healthier checkouts and with six in 10 households visiting Lidl at least once in the last year and five million customers a week coming through our doors, it’s important for us to meet their needs and concerns.”

It is this policy that has led to an experiment to see how replacing junk food for nutritious alternatives fare. They found that there was a twenty percent higher footfall, and that seven out of ten customers would go for a sweet-free checkout over a traditional one.

Children’s Food Campaign co-ordinator, Malcolm Clark, was reported saying, “We congratulate Lidl for making this move and leading the way on removing unhealthy snacks from checkouts.  The onus is now on other supermarkets and retailers to follow suit.”

After increased pressure over obesity and unhealthy eating in our supermarkets, the Department of Health is currently drawing up new guidelines for marking foods high in sugar, salt and fat. At the moment it is voluntary and whether other supermarkets will follow Lidl’s initiative is only a matter of time.

Yet, parents need to be educated on cooking food rather than buying processed food. Chocolate, sweets, and crisps should be only given as treats rather than as an alternative to cooking. Parents should try to encourage their children to take up a form of sport and exercise instead of staying in front of the TV and computer. If they are really concerned about their child’s health, then looking at alternatives and getting them off the sofa will greatly help to reduce the problems of obesity later in life.

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