In October 2022, new policies will be introduced concerning the promotions of HFSS products (food and drink containing High levels of Fat, Sugar and Salt), as confirmed by the government.


The regulations will apply to medium-scale and large-scale businesses, prohibiting volume promotions of HFSS products (multibuy offers like ‘buy two for the price of one’), free refills of HFSS drinks and the advertising of HFSS products in key locations both in large shops and on shopping websites. This is all part of the effort to reduce obesity in the UK, with the goal being to help people lead healthier lives.


Emma Young is a worker in marketing for the food and drink industry, with over 5 years of experience in this field. The HFSS policies are centred around the marketing of unhealthier products, so Emma’s occupation makes her perspective on the matter related and relevant. In Emma’s opinion, obesity is a “massive” problem in the UK: “health and wellbeing is such a big issue.” Emma believes that “more and more”, it is increasingly becoming the responsibility of food and drink companies to help in decreasing obesity. Companies should hold some accountability for partially causing obesity because “brands and companies have a big voice for consumers” so companies need to realise the influence they have on society and understand the responsibility that comes with their prominence.


Personally, Emma Young agrees with the upcoming HFSS policies, although she recognises that “within every company there are people who agree and disagree” with the latter due to them feeling “frustrated because they are losing money” while trying to adapt to the restrictions. Emma believes that “making advertising stricter for people is probably positive” as it will help to lower obesity rates. Food and drink companies are already preparing for the implementation of the policies by methods such as changing recipes to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt so that the product is not considered HFSS, therefore the regulations cannot apply to them. Emma’s career will also be affected; she says that the policies will “make new challenges” in her profession.


Despite the HFSS policies that the government is establishing, Emma Young believes that it is a necessity to have “more funding, more education, more help for families” to assist them in making healthier decisions. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the regulations are a good start. Additionally, the implementation date for the regulations was delayed from April 2022 to October 2022 – some organised companies will be ready for this deadline but in Emma’s own words, “some brands will never be agile enough” because the truth is that “it’s difficult to change”. However, it is of utmost importance that companies adapt quickly to the restrictions, so that the obesity crisis can be conquered.