Three UK supermarket chains are offering discounted healthy food as part of a government campaign.

Asda, The Co-operative Group and Aldi will offer money off food such as fruit, vegetables and low-fat yoghurts as part of the Supermeals campaign launched yesterday (2 January) under the government and industry-backed programme Change4Life.

Supermeals is a campaign that aims to help people plan affordable healthier meals. Under the campaign four million recipe packs will be sent to Change4Life supporters and a cookbook of healthy meals for under GBP5 (US$7.80) from celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott will also be published.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "The New Year is a good time to think about losing weight. The Supermeals campaign will give us all some great ideas for balanced meals on a budget."

However, the scheme was blasted by shadow public health minister Diane Abbott, who told the BBC: "They're calling this public health but it's just a glorified advertisement for big business. This is a government that doesn't take its responsibility around public health seriously. Some areas in inner cities are fresh food deserts so families fall into eating takeaway chicken and chips."