New health responsibility deal unveiled

The government has today unveiled its new 'responsibility deal' - which it hopes will encourage people to adopt new healthier lifestyles.

It includes promises to introduce calorie counts on menus, reduce salt consumption and the removal of artificial trans fats.

The deal - part of the government’s Big Society plans - has the backing of a number of major retailers and companies in the fast food sector.

However, the government has been criticised over its plans for alcohol - with campaigners suggesting a scheme to improve product labelling do not go far enough.

The voluntary agreements for England cover physical activity, food, alcohol, health at work and behavioural change.

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Supermarkets including Asda, the Co-operative, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose are among more than 170 organisations which have signed up to a broad range of measures designed to help the public to be more healthy. High street food outlets including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC have also pledged to remove trans fats and to put in place calorie labelling.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, launching the new deal, said: “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.”

He added: “And it is only the first step. While I’m pleased with the progress we have achieved in seven months and that over 170 organisations have already signed up as partners, we want more organisations to sign up, and also to work with us to develop further collective and individual pledges.

“These deals will work alongside the Department’s broader plans to take a bold new approach to public health. Public Health England will give local people the money and the power to improve our nation’s health. The money will be ringfenced to be used as it should be - for preventing ill health.”

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