The British Retail Consortium has reacted angrily to government proposals to regulate how UK retailers display “less healthy foods”, dismissing the suggestion as “ludicrous”.

In a report issued yesterday (6 April), Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: one year on, the Department of Health said that while retailers are promoting “healthier” foods, more could be done.

The department called for the establishment of a food marketing code that would prevent retailers displaying unhealthy foods at or below children’s eye level.

“Let’s be clear here – retailers have done a lot to promote healthier foods and the report recognises that. Consumption patterns are changing and this has been achieved without regulation,” a spokesperson for the BRC told just-food.

“Rules about which products should go on which shelves would be seriously misguided. It’s very hard to see how this could work in practice. How high is child’s eye-line anyway? It’s parents who buy children’s food. The idea that making particular foods hard to reach would make any difference is ludicrous,” BRC food director Andrew Opie added.