US cereal maker Kellogg Company is launching a "Get in Step" programme in order to encourage consumers to take more exercise.

Kellogg's Get in Step programme is a 12-week plan that requires walking an extra 2,000 steps - approximately one mile - every day, and eating a bowl of cereal every day.

Food companies are coming under increasing criticism amid the current obesity crisis, but many insist their products can be consumed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, and are therefore trying to encourage consumers to be more active.

The company said the programme was tested by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where researchers found that Get in Step participants increased their activity level and reduced their body fat.

The Get in Step "Get Fit Kit", which includes a pedometer, a plan guide, nutrition and fitness tips and reward stickers, can be ordered online.

"Kellogg wants to show kids and adults that living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be hard work," said Christine Lowry, Kellogg Company vice president, nutrition. "The Get in Step programme highlights the simple things we can do everyday - like walking an extra 2,000 steps and eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast - that can help improve our health and fitness."