Food industry manifesto targets obesity

Related tags Cadbury plc Industry

Portion sizes will be cut as the food giants sign a seven step
manifesto to tackle the sensitive food and health debate.

Portion sizes will be cut as the food giants sign a seven step manifesto to tackle the sensitive food and health debate.

The £67.6bn (€99.58bn) food and drink industry said today that labelling, advertising, salt reduction and vending machines in schools will all figure in the seven point plan signed by members such as Cadbury Trebor Bassett, Coca-Cola and HJ Heinz.

"FDF's Food and Health Manifesto sets out the UK food and drink manufacturing industry's commitment to work constructively with consumers, government and others to help find solutions to the complex, multi-factorial issues surrounding obesity and the food and health debate generally,"​ said John Sunderland, president of UK industry body, the Food and Drink Federation.

Industry has committed to shelve some of their king size chocolate bars, and the larger Mars and Snickers bars will be among those that disappear during the campaign that kicks off in 2005.

"Cadbury Trebor Bassett proposes to phase out all non-segmented/non portioned King Size Bars and discontinue the King Size nomenclature,"​ the UK confectionery giant committed.

Consumer groups have singled out the food industry as a key player in the obesity epidemic of today that affects some 300 million people worldwide, and a further 750 million overweight people.

"FDF members are committed to reducing levels of sugar, fat and salt in products and providing lower salt, lower sugar and lower fat options where technologically possible, safe and acceptable to consumers,"​ continued the industry body.

On the sensitive issue of advertising the FDF said members would co-ordinate with Ofcom, the UK advertising regulator required to report annually to Parliament, to target the oft criticised advertising methods to children.

"FDF members are committed to working with Ofcom and government on further tightening of self-regulatory codes, and discussing the whole range of concerns relating to advertising to children."

Again targeting children, signatories to the manifesto, including Kellogg's and Kraft Foods, claimed that primary schools will remove all vending machines unless specifically requested and secondary and primary schools will also remove branding from vending machines on request and choices will be broadened.

Targetting nearer to home, the industry - the single largest manufacturing sector in the country - writes that it will also 'establish and promote' healthy workplace schemes on diet and lifestyle in premises belonging to companies in the food chain and 'within their communities'.

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