As part of the UK Public Health Responsibility Deal, 17 popular food and drinks companies have pledged to reduce the calorie content of their products by as much as 30%.
Big firms committed to the scheme include Mars, Coca-Cola, Subway, PepsiCo, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer among others.
According to the Department of Health, England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe and easy accessibility to high calorie foods could be one of the main causes.
Health Secretary Mr Lansley said: “We all have a role to play – from individuals to public, private and non-governmental organisations – if we are going to cut five billion calories from our national diet”.
Drinks giant Coca-Cola has promised to reduce the calorie content of some drinks by a significant 30% by 2014 and Mars will set a maximum of 250 calories per chocolate bar- almost a 50% reduction.
As well as the calorie reduction pledge, many companies will be introducing different obesity-fighting measures. For instance, Cadbury’s has announced plans to introduce resealable packaging in a bid to discourage people from eating whole chocolate bars in one go.
The Health Secretary has stated that this pledge is only the beginning of a broader food movement designed to help nurse Britain back to health.
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