Britain's major supermarket chains and food producers have pledged to cut five billion calories from the nation's daily diet. Seventeen companies have signed the Department of Health's Responsibility Deal, including the four major supermarket chains Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's.
British Health secretary Andrew Lansley proudly announced the combined pledge of producers and distributors to help fight obesity, which is one of the biggest health hazards in the country. “Over 60 per cent of adults and over a third of 10 and 11 year olds are overweight or obese”, says the Department of Health, stating that England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe – and indeed of the whole world.
Joint efforts to tackle problems
The best way to tackle this problem is to prevent people from eating too much, so major producers have pledged to reduce the amounts of calories in their food products:
- Coca-Cola Great Britain will reduce its average amount of calories per litre by 5% - up to 30% for some brands.
- Mars will cap the calories per chocolate snack to 250 by the end of next year.
- Premier Foods will reduce calories in their existing brands and one in three newly introduced products will be “lower calorie choices”.
The major supermarket chains also have announced their efforts to cut the country's calorie intake:
- Tesco will remove 1.8 billion calories from its soft drinks, expand its range of low-calorie meals and point customers to low-calorie options using “Green Ping” labels.
- Asda will introduce a new brand that will contain at least 30 per cent fewer calories than their normal “Chosen by you” brand.
- Morrisons will launch a range of over 300 healthier food products and a new labelling system.
Fastfood chain Subway joins the pledge with a commitment to offer five “Low fat range subs” as part of their very popular £3 lunch offer.
Happy Health Secretary
“This pledge is just the start of what must be a bigger, broader commitment from the food industry”, said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. “But it is a great step in the right direction and will help million of us eat and drink fewer calories.”