Checkout Lines Losing Snacks in England

We like to pay attention to what is happening in health news around the world. We think it’s interesting to see how other countries are trying to help public health. We wonder if it will come into law in the U.S. and if it can help us make better choices for ourselves.

In England, a new law makes it so that supermarkets can no longer have unhealthy food and drinks at the checkout lines. Here is the U.S., some supermarkets already have the “candy-free” checkout lane meant primarily for parents who want to get out of the store without fighting with their kids about last-minute candy.

The science of impulse buying has been researched since 1952. The research shows that people buy things impulsively, not necessarily because we want them but because of how we’re shown them. When certain products are right there at checkout, and we’re stuck in a line, we’re more likely to reach for them. We have walked around the store, made all our healthy choices and are tired from making choices. And then, tired and worn down, we’re presented with the reward of cheap candy.

When we recognize this trick, it’s easier to resist the candy. We are being manipulated. It’s an interesting step to take the junk food out of the checkout aisle. England isn’t removing unhealthy snacks or drinks from the supermarkets; it would just be in the regular aisles. Not many of us go into the candy aisle to buy a single Twix, but it is easy to do so if we wanted to as a special treat. If they did this in the U.S., it wouldn’t be hard to buy ourselves junk if we wanted to. It would just help us make our own decisions.

We don’t like laws that limit our choices. We like being able to have all the information we need to make our own informed decisions about what is right for ourselves. But this law doesn’t stop people from buying whatever they want; it just forces them to pause. Do you want to buy candy? How much sugar is in whatever treat you would put on the conveyor belt? Is the benefit worth the carbs?

This law isn’t being discussed in the U.S. It’s just something we thought was interesting, and thought might interest you! As always, we would love to hear what you think. Do you think this would help you make choices about what to buy? Do you think it would change your habits? Do you never buy anything off the impulse racks anyway? Let us know! Email us at

Banner Image: Ava Motive via Pexels
January 12, 2021
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