Tesco to remove sweets from checkouts

Sweets and chocolates are to be removed from checkouts at all Tesco stores in Ireland and the UK by the end of the year.

The announcement comes after two thirds of parents said it would help them make healthier choices for their children.

Confectionary has already been taken away from till points in larger branches - but today's announcement includes smaller outlets also.

“I welcome today's move by Tesco, which I hope will be the first step in a new commitment by our retail sector to help make the healthier choice the easier choice for people and their families,” said Minister for Health Dr James Reilly.

“Obesity is a major challenge for our society and all sectors have a role to play in creating a healthier Ireland.

“I believe the move announced today will be supportive in building an environment that supports people to lead healthier lifestyles and I encourage other retailers to follow Tesco’s lead. This move complements other measures introduced by my Department, including calorie posting in restaurants and awareness campaigns on healthy eating.”

Katie O'Donovan, from parenting website Mumsnet in England, welcomed the move.

"It can feel a bit like an assault course at times," she said.

"So anything that really can be done to make it a bit easier for parents, a bit less stressful, more likely that you get out on time with just the things you planned to but, can be really, really helpful."

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said: "We all know how easy it is to be tempted by sugary snacks at the checkout, and we want to help our customers lead healthier lives.

"We've already removed billions of calories from our soft drinks, sandwiches and ready meal ranges by changing the recipes to reduce their sugar, salt and fat content. And we will continue to look for opportunities to take out more.

"We're doing this now because our customers have told us that removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts will help them make healthier choices."

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