The UK's Conservative Party has called for the food industry and government to form voluntary agreements to tackle obesity.

In a speech to the think-tank Reform, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley set out proposals on how the Government and business can work together to address problems caused by poor diet, alcohol abuse and lack of exercise.

Rejecting regulation of the industry, Lansley said that a "Responsibility Deal" between government and business would best address the problem.

"Our need, and not just in relation to public health issues, is to act on the environment, while fostering positive peer pressure and social norms. We have to take away the excuses," he said in a speech today (27 August).

Rather than a "narrow focus" fostering a fear of junk food, there should be an emphasis on having a generally improved diet, Lansley said.

According to Lansley, a Conservative government would ditch the traffic light labelling system, which is currently supported by the Food Standards Agency.
 
However, Lansley said that he would support EU-wide proposals for mandatory front-of-pack food labelling, ask the food industry to reduce portion sizes and clampdown on food advertising.