Royal Ahold plans to define and implement a more selective criteria-based policy to regiment its food purchases in a new anti-obesity drive to reduce the number of high fat content products sold through its stores, while stocking products from suppliers of low fat health conscious foods.

"We hope that Ahold's new purchasing policy will trigger a positive response from suppliers. We want suppliers to assume a greater level of responsibility for the health of our customers. If not, we will either drop certain products from suppliers or place a warning label on products that we feel do not meet our healthy foods eating criteria. We will also use more transparent labelling of the private food brands we sell," said Ahold's CEO Anders Moberg.

Multinational food retailers such as Ahold have a responsibility to protect the health of their customers, said Moberg.

"Retailers are becoming more aware of the increase in the incidence of obesity in Europe. The time has come for Ahold to act on that responsibility and inform customers about the better products, and the more healthy product choices," said Moberg.

Ahold would use Sweden as a country model for the implementation of its healthy-foods policy. "When it comes to wellness products. Sweden and France lead the rest of Europe. Other countries will follow suit. I do not want to think of the alternative to doing nothing. The alternative to doing nothing is a rise in obesity and the unchecked consumption of junk food," said Moberg.