Brits ignore PMs diet plea as spending on takeaways surges – City A.M.


Posted: September 8, 2020 at 10:00 pm

Worried about the nations weight, Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched an anti-obesity drive in July. But the latest spending data suggests Britons resoundingly ignored his advice.

Spending on takeaways and fast food jumped 20.7 per cent year on year in August, according to Barclaycard data released today. That was the biggest rise since the measure began in September last year.

Read more: Johnson bans buy one get one free offers amid war on obesity

Meanwhile, spending at pubs and bars rose for the first time since lockdown, with an increase of 9.3 per cent compared to a year earlier, Barclaycard said.

The extra spending on curries and beers helped total consumer spending rise 0.2 per cent year on year the first uplift since February.

It seems the final throes of summer have spurred households to get out and about with clothing stores, pubs and bars welcoming growth for the first time since lockdown began, said Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products at Barclaycard.

Of course, the restaurant sector also benefited from the boost provided by the eat out to help out scheme.

Yet Ahmed added: While some Brits enjoyed getting out and about, it seems lockdown has also increased the shift towards online when it comes to meal times too.

The rise in consumer spending will cheer policymakers even if Britons did not choose to spend their money in the healthiest ways.

Separate data out today from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG showed that retail sales increased 4.7 per cent in August year on year.

However, the UKs economic recovery could be derailed by a rise in coronavirus cases. There were almost 3,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day running yesterday.

Read more: More than 100m meals eaten through Eat Out to Help Out scheme

A Treasury spokesperson praised the eat out to help out scheme, saying it was designed to help protect the jobs of 1.8 million people who work in hospitality a sector which has been badly hit by the outbreak.

There was a wide range of restaurants registered for our scheme which provide a variety of options, helping people to eat out and enjoy summer safely as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

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Brits ignore PMs diet plea as spending on takeaways surges - City A.M.

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