A UK consumer group has accused the country's retailers of promoting unhealthy eating habits by offering increasing numbers of discounts on sugary and fatty foods.

According to an annual survey - Cut-price, what cost? - conducted by the National Consumer Council (NCC), fatty and sugary foods make up 54% of supermarket promotions. This is nearly double the number recorded in the same survey last year.

The NCC said Morrisons was the "worst offender", with 63% of promotions featuring sugary, fatty foods. 

This compares to only one in eight of retailers' promotions that featured fruit and vegetables.

The report rated supermarkets based on the salt content of their own-brand foods, nutrition labelling, price promotions, prevalence of sweets at the checkout and the information and advice the supermarkets make available.

Overall in the survey, Sainsbury's came out top having made progress in labelling and nutrition and scoring highly on providing consumer information.

Tesco came joint-fifth, while for the fourth time in a row Morrisons came last in the NCC's rankings.

"The volume of in-house promotions for fatty and sugary foods the supermarkets are all offering is staggering. We expected to see evidence of big improvements since our last investigation, but we've been sadly disappointed," said Lucy Yates, the report's author.

"With so many of us buying our food in these supermarkets, their collective behaviour can heavily influence the nation's eating habits. Despite their claims, the supermarkets all still have a long way to go to help customers choose and enjoy a healthier diet."

The NCC has called for retailers to ensure that a minimum of 33% of price promotions are for fruit and vegetables and that fewer promotions are for fatty, sugary foods.