The European Parliament has backed a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem of childhood obesity.

Overwhelmingly supporting a report by right-wing Italian MEP Alessandro Foglietta, the parliament backed introducing an EU law that insists upon easily understood front of pack nutritional labelling, helping children make sensible dietary choices.

MEPs also supported framing an EU regulation that would introduce restrictions on commercials for unhealthy food that specifically target children.

The parliament also backed an EU-wide ban on artificial trans-fatty acids, and called for a lowering of European VAT rates on fruit and vegetables.

"Europe has almost 22m overweight children, and a further 1.3m will be overweight or obese by 2010," said the report.