consumer watchdog has said the big-name supermarkets
have dramatically increased promotions of cheap,
unhealthy food during the credit crunch.
Fatty and sugary foods now make up more than half (54%)
of in-store supermarket promotions, the National
Consumer Council said.
This is nearly double the number recorded in the last
survey in 2006, despite Government health advice that
such foods should make up just 7% of diets.
Morrisons was the worst offender for the fourth time in
a row, with 63% of its promotions featuring sugary and
fatty foods, the NCC said.
Just one in eight promotions featured fruit and
vegetables, despite health advice recommending they make
up a minimum 33% of a total diet.
The figures are published in the NCC's fourth Cut-price,
what cost? report rating the UK's top eight supermarkets
on efforts to help customers eat healthily.
Researchers rated supermarkets on the salt content of
own-brand foods, front and back-of-pack nutrition
labelling, price promotions, prevalence of sweets at the
checkout and information and advice available to
Sainsbury's is ranked top for the second time in a row,
followed by the Co-operative.
Lucy Yates, senior policy advocate at the NCC and the
report's author, said: "The volume of in-house
promotions for fatty and sugary foods the supermarkets
are all offering is staggering. We expected to see
evidence of big improvements since our last
investigation, but we've been sadly disappointed."