The UK's Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has published a new food and health manifesto, setting out the industry's efforts to help in the fight against obesity.

The manifesto focuses on seven key areas: labelling, products, portion sizes, vending, advertising to children, encouraging healthy lifestyles within the industry, and public education.

Individual company approaches will deliver on the commitments in varying ways according to product portfolios and consumer demand, the FDF said.

Among the commitments is a pledge to work constructively with the government and other stakeholders to ensure the availability of clearer nutritional information under revised EU provisions. The FDF said it will encourage its members to provide on pack where practicable: full nutritional information as defined in current EU legislation even where this is not legally necessary, salt equivalence as well as the legally required sodium information, and Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs).

As regards products, the FDF said its members are committed to continuing to reduce levels of sugar, fat and salt in products and providing lower salt, lower sugar and lower fat options where technologically possible, safe and acceptable to consumers.

FDF members have also committed to exploring new approaches for individual portion sizes to help reduce overconsumption. One example of this is a proposal by UK confectionery maker Cadbury Trebor Bassett to phase out all non-segmented/non portioned King Size bars and discontinue the King Size nomenclature. This will start at the end of the first quarter of 2005.

The FDF said its members are committed to removing all vending machines from primary schools unless their provision is specifically requested by the school/LEA and removing branding from vending machines in primary and secondary schools where this is requested by the school/LEA. There is also an industry commitment to broaden the range of products on offer.

On the much-debated subject of advertising to children, the FDF said its members are committed to working with Ofcom and the government on further tightening of self-regulatory codes, and discussing the whole range of concerns relating to advertising to children.

The manifesto also includes commitments to establish and promote healthy workplace schemes on diet and lifestyle in premises belonging to companies in the food chain and within their communities, and the participation of the food industry in a government-led campaign of public education on healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.