Sainsbury's CEO Justin King has called on the government to develop a clearer strategy on food policy.

Speaking during a debate organised by the retailer on cooking at home, King said there were too many food initiatives and the problem resulted from the number of departments the industry had to deal with.

"Our business identified 100 different departments in government that we touch in one way or another," he said.

"There needs to be a very clear, articulate strategy on this to bind together all the departments that touch it together, whether that be departments such as health or education. The Treasury provides financial control to other departments, so the thread is the Treasury."

Jamie Oliver agreed there was a need for greater collaboration and said it was "too easy" to blame the government for health and obesity issues. However, he criticised the coalition for "using the nanny state as an excuse not to fund things".

"Kids need to be nannied," he said. Cooking in schools should be compulsory, he added. "You don't die from having compulsory geography. You do from not having the life skills to cook."

However, parliamentary under-secretary of state for children and families, Tim Loughton, said extended families as well as retailers had a role to play in promoting healthy eating.

"We have a whole generation of parents who have lost the art of cooking. The retail industry has a role to play to incentivise people and make it easier for people to work out what is healthy."