SHOPPERS who love a supermarket bargain are up to 54 per cent more likely to be fat, a study claims.
Cancer Research UK analysed the buying habits of 16,000 British households.
Getty – Contributor Bargain loving-shoppers are up to 54 per cent more likely to be overweight, a study found
They found families whose shopping baskets contained between 40 to 80 per cent of items on special offer were much more likely to be lardy.
Experts blame temptation and claim nearly half of all chocolate, crisps and snacks are bought on promotion.
Bargain loving-families purchase an extra 11 items per month that are high in fat, sugar or salt.
But they buy a third less fruit and a quarter less veg than shoppers who avoid supermarket deals.
Researchers claim it works out to 13lbs less fresh produce every month.
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, said: “Promotional items offer people a wealth of tempting yet unhealthy food and drink choices when doing their weekly shop.
“With cut-price deals on things like chocolate, biscuits, cakes and fizzy drinks, it’s no surprise that people who buy more on promotion have a greater likelihood of being obese.”
TWO IN THREE BRIT ADULTS ARE TOO FAT
The report says three in ten food and drink purchases in the UK are bought as part of a special offer, fuelling the nation’s obesity epidemic.
It calls on ministers to end to buy-one-get-one-free offers on junk food and supermarket guilt lanes.
Alamy It calls on ministers to end buy-one-get-one-free deals on junk food and sweets
Being too heavy raises chances of type 2 diabetes, heart, liver disease and 13 different types of cancer.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said restricting sales of junk food was a “no brainer”.
He said: “People are still unaware of the harm to their health that these bargains bring and brakes must be applied to offers if obesity is ever to be brought to a halt.
“Draconian it may seem, but it really is the tough action the government must now take.”
But critics said banning promotions would simply hit poor families in the pocket.
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Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “It is no surprise that people on low incomes are more likely to take advantage of price discounts and it is well known that people on low incomes are more likely to be obese.
“There is no reason to believe that banning discounts would make people buy more fruit and vegetables and it is perverse to think that people on low incomes would benefit from food being made more expensive.”
The Government is currently consulting on banning supermarket guilt lanes and end of aisle promotions.
Shops will also be ordered to stop all multi-buy offers for products high in fat and sugar, under the plans.
Tim Rycroft, from the Food and Drink Federation, said any ban would be a “bizarre and contradictory public health policy”.
He said: “There is very limited evidence to suggest that promotional restrictions have any impact on obesity levels.
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“Even focusing on those shoppers that buy the most, Cancer Research UK calculate this is eleven extra items a month for a family of four. That’s less than one a week each.
“The plan to restrict promotions is both wrong-headed and muddled. It would make shopping more expensive and reduce choice.
“Promotions actually play a big role in making food more affordable.”
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