UK Government requests public consultation on diet and fitness

The public are being asked their views on how to improve diet and fitness in the UK by new consultation papers published today.

Food retailers are encouraged to reduce the salt, fat and sugar content of food. People should have better access to fruit and vegetables and higher fibre products, says the paper 'Choosing Health? Choosing a Better Diet'.

The second paper 'Choosing Health? Choosing activity' says young children should take more activity in both early years settings and schools. The consultation also proposes more physical activity for people who are not in education or work like older adolescents, people with disabilities and retired people.

Health Minister Melanie Johnson called on the food industry, consumer groups, health experts and the media to work together to tackle the issues.

"Individuals also have to take responsibility for their diets or those of people in their charge. The Government and others can, and should, support consumers, providing them with easier access to a wider range of healthier foods and, crucially, the information and knowledge needed to make informed choices about their diets."

Sports Minister Richard Caborn said:

"I am sure that the findings of Choosing a Better Diet and Choosing Activity consultations will inform the Public Health White Paper in the Summer and play a key role in our evolving strategy for a fitter nation."

The consultation period ends on 16th June 2004.

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