The Department of Health said the move was in response to evidence that everything promoted and sold in supermarkets can encourage adults and young people to lead unhealthy lifestyles.
Health Minister Anne Milton said: “We cannot ignore the fact that young people are recruited into buying anything that is colourful and eye-catching. Supermarkets must now take responsibility for covering up potentially harmful products.
Most adult consumers started to exhibit unhealthy buying choices from around the age of five and we need to stop this trend.
Banning displays of anything which comes in colourful packaging will help young people resist the pressure to start buying whatever they like. It will also help the thousands of adults in England who are currently trying to give up anything deemed harmful or unhealthy by any quack, health expert or Kirsty Allsopp.”
Among the products which remain unaffected by the new regulations are bags of charcoal, bird seed, pickled herrings and nipple protectors.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the latest ban was part of a move to ensure ‘we no longer see buying potentially harmful products as a part of life’. The next stage will be to ban tempting images on eBay, Amazon and Grindr.
Spinster, Nancy McAllister from the border town of Melrose in Scotland said, “It won’t make any difference up here my love. The local Co-op has only ever stocked marmite, haggis and boot polish and I’ve never had any call for what they keep under the counter.”