Low-calorie body VLCD lobbies EU

Two of the biggest slimming-product manufacturers have teamed up to lobby the European Parliament over legislation in the pipeline that threatens to restrict their branding and marketing activities.

The Cambridge Health and Weight Plan and LighterLife have joined forces to create the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) industry group.

They have hired The Whitehouse Consultancy to voice their concerns through the UK’s Food Standards Agency on the proposed regulation on health and nutrition claims made about food.

VLCD is particularly concerned over draft legislation that stipulates a ban on firms making any claims about weight loss. Commenting on the proposed measure, agency founder Chris Whitehouse said: ‘This is bizarre when the EU has identified obesity as a huge bit of public policy.’

The group is also concerned about proposed restrictions on making health and nutritional claims on product packaging and in advertising. Such claims would need scientific proof and be subject to an official approval system.

According to Whitehouse, the restrictions would even apply to brand names featuring terms such as ‘health’ and ‘diet’.

The companies’ products are aimed at people who are clinically obese, offering daily intake programmes of less than 800 calories a day.

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