Supermarkets encourage the consumption of unhealthy foods, such as heavily processed ready meals high in salt and sugar content. Supermarket practices include:
the majority of promotions such as two-for-one offers being for ready meals and junk food, and rarely for fresh fruit and vegetables
snacks such as chocolate being offered at the checkout
high salt content in own-brand foods
misleading and complicated nutritional labelling and information and a lack of information about nutrition and healthy food choices
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, published a report in March 2012 on improving nutrition and reducing hunger. He stated that : “Urbanization, supermarketization and the global spread of modern lifestyles have shaken up traditional food habits. The result is a public health disaster.”
The journalist Felicity Lawrence writing in the Guardian, November 2010, highlighted how Tesco has been a leading opponent of the traffic light food labelling scheme favoured by the Food Standards Agency.