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Responsibility deal pledge on fat is a drop in the ocean

Food companies have pledged to reduce the fat content of some of their products, as part of their commitment to the government's Responsiblity Deal.

Commenting on the annoucement, Professor John Ashton, President of the Faculty of Public Health, said:  “At a time when public spending is under scrutiny, it costs the NHS £5billion a year to treat obesity. So it is a good thing that some companies are making food that has less saturated fat than before. They need to ensure that at the same time they lower the sugar and salt that they have used to make foods more tasty as a result of lowering the fat content.

“However, today's announcement is a drop in the ocean in comparison with the scale of the obesity crisis. We cannot rely on the voluntary approach of the Responsibility Deal to solve this problem. It now lacks credibility and can be seen as a feeble attempt by the industry to save face.

“We need government to do what only it can and use the law to improve people's health, such as through making sure all food is clearly labelled with traffic light labelling. That would help make it easier for everyone to make informed choices. Obesity is a complex issue that has many causes: if just telling people to 'eat less and move more' worked, we would have tackled it by now.”

Written: 28/10/2013 , last modified: 24/12/2013

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