Major food retailers commit to calorie reduction initiative

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The government has enlisted the support of leading UK food producers and retailers in a new drive to reduce the nation's calorie intake.

Prominent businesses and brands such as Asda, Tesco, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, Unilever and Subway are among the supermarkets, manufacturers, caterers and food outlets to sign up to the government Responsibility Deal's calorie reduction pledge.

A variety of initiatives will be launched to cut five billion calories from the nation's daily diet, with the calorie content of many existing products to be reduced, while some companies will also be launching new low-calorie brands.

This comes as part of the Department of Health's efforts to combat the growing UK obesity epidemic, with more than 60 per cent of adults currently overweight or obese.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "This pledge is just the start of what must be a bigger, broader commitment from the food industry. But it is a great step in the right direction."

This follows the announcement of a similar project to reduce the number of alcohol units consumed in the UK last week, which is supported by supermarkets and retailers, as well as manufacturers like Heineken, Carlsberg and Bacardi.

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