Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley today challenged the government and the food industry to do more to tackle the “devastating” impact of poor diet among young children.

Lindley, who has been backed by celebrity chefs Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall and Prue Leith, as well as a raft of leading health experts, is calling for a ‘Food Manifesto for the Under Fives’ to tackle obesity.

He will attempt to galvanise support from retailers, food manufacturers, restaurateurs, schools and parents to draw up long term strategies to improve the diet of youngsters.

Lindley has released a report: Averting A Recipe For Disaster, Our Children And Their Food, along with research claiming almost half of teachers do not think the government does enough to encourage children to eat healthily.

“The current cost to the NHS of diet-related disease is estimated to be nearly £6bn annually and the impact of poor nutrition stretches far deeper, with long term impacts on national productivity,” Lindley said.

“We cannot offer a ‘silver bullet solution’ - this is a 25-year challenge which requires coordinated action from everyone - across industry and government, retailers, educators, parents and the media.”