Brands sign up to Government’s healthy living “deal”

More than 150 brands have signed up to the Government’s “Responsibility Deal” to promote healthy living.

Tesco, Diageo, Unilever and Marks & Spencer are among the 170 brands that have pledged to support responsible drinking, eating and behavior in the home and workplace.

Collective pledges from signatories include:

  • Calories on menus from September this year;
  • Reducing salt in food so people eat 1g less per day by the end of 2012.
  • Removal of artificial trans-fats by the end of this year.
  • Achieving clear unit labelling on more than 80 per cent of alcohol by 2013.
  • Increasing physical activity through the workplace.
  • Improving workplace health.

A number of brands have made individual pledges including:

  • Food outlets, including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC, have pledged to remove trans-fats and to put in place calorie labelling.
  • Drink producers including Diageo and Carlsberg have pledged to provide clear unit labelling, support awareness campaigns and develop a new sponsorship code on responsible drinking.
  • The Association of Convenience Stores has committed to work with its members to roll out Change4Life branding into 1,000 stores to improve fruit and vegetable availability in deprived areas.

The announcements follow six months of discussion between the Government and the private sector. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley favours a collaborative approach to public health campaigns based on voluntary agreements and not regulation.

He says: “Public health is everyone’s responsibility and there is a role for all of us, working in partnership, to tackle these challenges.

“We know that regulation is costly, can take years and is often only determined at an EU-wide level anyway. That’s why we have to introduce new ways of achieving better results.

“The deals published today, demonstrate the effectiveness of our radical partnership approach to deliver more and sooner.