Politicians claim plans for a ‘fat tax’ are dead in the water, despite a forthcoming report on obesity from leading medical colleges that calls for measures to be imposed by the coalition in the new year.

Members of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have been working on a major report on the UK’s obesity epidemic for the past six months. Due out in January, elements of its findings were revealed behind closed doors meetings at the recent party conferences.

The Grocer has learnt that the report will suggest imposing extra VAT on foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar imposing excise duty on fatty foods and the possibility of fiscal incentives for healthy products.

But speaking before the Tory conference, new health secretary Jeremy Hunt said in an interview with The Times that he did not want a ‘fat tax’, saying “I like my Coca-Cola and crisps.”

And former GP Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, a member of the health committee and previously a fierce critic of the government’s close relationship with the food and drink industry, said: “No party is likely to press for ‘fat taxes’ or ‘sugar surcharges’ after the ‘pasty tax’ débâcle.”