Buy an apple, get a banana free: Force shops to offer healthier deals, health experts urge government

Ministers have been urged to force stores to offer healthy options such as fruit and water in special “meal deals” to tackle obesity in Britain.

Public health experts told the Commons environmental audit committee that there needed to crack down on buy-one-get-one-free deals and other discounts on unhealthy junk food and fizzy drinks.

Stores should offer deals on fruit

Stores should offer deals on fruit to promote healthy eating, say nutritionists

The scientists from the University of Aberdeen said such selling methods “promote over-consumption and food waste”.

They added that the government could make it compulsory for supermarkets to offer the same discounts for all pack sizes and always have fruit and water as alternatives to soft drinks and crisps in meal deals.

The committee”s Labour chairwoman Joan Walley told the Evening Standard: “The Government has been talking about giving supermarkets and fast food giants a nudge to help customers to eat more healthily, but in some cases companies may need a shove.

“Ministers should not rule out changing the law to ensure that healthier options are promoted as prominently as junk food.”

Their call came as a major study found that almost half of all cancers in men and 40 per cent in women could be prevented.

The Cancer Research UK report found at least 134,000 cases diagnosed in Britain last year were triggered by causes such as smoking, obesity, poor diet, alcohol or even not breastfeeding.

They calculated that 40 per cent of cancers in women were preventable compared with 45 per cent in men.

Obesity was found to be responsible for 5per cent of all cancers – more than 17,000 a year – the majority affecting the bowel and breast.