Food firms pledge healthier options

Britain’s major food manufacturers have issued a report showcasing their collective efforts to tone down promotions to children and offer healthier options.

Last week, Education Secretary Ruth Kelly called for a ban on fizzy drinks, confectionery and junk food on school premises.

FDF spokeswoman Kate Snowden said the report allowed manufacturers 'to stand up and be counted, to show they are part of the solution to the nation's health problems'.

The report, by trade body the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), aims to appease the Government and those who accuse the industry of fuelling childhood obesity – as well as inform stakeholders of good practice.

It comes a year after FDF members agreed on a food and health manifesto. It sets guidelines for the industry in areas including advertising to children, public education and product labelling.

Pledges include Heinz's promise of in-school programmes promoting healthy lifestyles, and United Biscuits' decision to target publicity at parents rather than children. Nestlé has launched 'healthy food' vending machines.

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