ALMR: obesity solutions should not burden operators

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Trade fears: ALMR says health legislation should not hit pubs
Trade fears: ALMR says health legislation should not hit pubs

Related tags: Nutrition, Public health

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has reiterated its message that the trade is keen to help tackle childhood obesity but without the burden falling on licensees.

The House of Commons select committee has published a report into childhood obesity, making a number of recommendations, including changes to legislation to include health as a planning consideration.

The report also includes recommendations on portion sizes, promotions and the soft drinks levy.

Legislative burdens

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said though the hospitality sector is keen to work with the Government to tackle childhood obesity, she warned of the legislative burdens that could restrict trade and increase financial pressure on businesses.

She added: “Of particular concern is the recommendation that health be included as a planning consideration for local authorities.

“The ALMR has always reiterated the point that, for the vast majority of customers, eating out of home in pubs and restaurants is an occasional treat."

Onerous and unworkable

Nicholls added: “Without transparent guidance on how future health-based planning decisions are made, pubs and restaurants could find themselves victim of a policy that is intended to tackle unhealthy habits in children – a section of the populace that does not frequent those venues.

“Other recommendations, such as a cap on portion sizes have the potential to be onerous and unworkable for businesses already working hard to provide healthier options and alternatives for customers.”

Nicholls outlined how the ALMR has tried to deliver workable solutions by meeting with Public Health England on multiple occasions and it will continue to work with local and national authorities.

She said: “The sector is already working hard to promote healthier attitudes to food and is ready to do even more but we must avoid the blanket imposition of vague and unworkable measures that undermine businesses without delivering on the scheme’s aims for children.”

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