The US House of Representatives has voted to approve a bill that seeks to block lawsuits that try to hold the food industry responsible for obesity.

The bill is backed by the White House and most of the US food industry, but still faces obstacles in the Senate, reported Reuters.

The National Food Processors Association welcomed the result of the House vote, and urged the US Senate to pass the bill.

“NFPA applauds the House of Representatives for passing this important legislation, which will protect the food industry from liability claims that food products are responsible for causing weight gain or obesity in consumers.  It is a timely and needed response to the threat of lawsuits seeking to pin the responsibility for obesity in this country on the food industry,” said John Cady, president and CEO of the NFPA.

Cady added that he believes lawsuits against food companies are the wrong way to address the US obesity problem.

“The food industry strongly believes that more energy must be put into solving the problem of obesity, and less into assigning blame for the purpose of collecting legal fees.  We need to start helping consumers understand how they can balance their food choices in order to create a healthful diet.  We also must help them to understand that a lack of physical activity in the lives of many Americans – adults and children – is having a serious negative impact on their health,” Cade said.