The government has joined forces with leading retailers to expose what it claims are the “hidden” health dangers in products such as cola and pizza.

As well as backing a new education campaign called Be Food Smart, retailers including Asda, Aldi and the Co-operative Group are promising to offer price reductions on hundreds of healthier products.

The move comes as the government ramps up its long running Change4Life campaign with an ‘ad takeover’ to air during prime-time in Coronation Street tonight.

The Change4Life ad, made by Wallace and Gromit creator Aardman, will run alongside campaigns by Asda, Quorn, Uncle Ben’s, the Co-op Group and Cravendale.

“We have worked closely with partner organisations including Asda fresh fish and Uncle Ben’s rice to highlight how easy it is to eat well on a budget,” said DH director of marketing, Sheila Mitchell.

The DH has also timed the move to coincide with a survey revealing the nations lack of knowledge about the food they eat, including half of those surveyed being unaware that there are 11 lumps of sugar in a can of cola.

Labour has urged the government to go further and consider introducing legal limits on sugar, salt and fat content in food.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said current voluntary agreements were not working and revealed Labour would soon begin a consultation on how to tackle the obesity crisis, adding: “time has come for new thinking”.

Last week, shadow health minister Diane Abbott said Labour would look to bring in tough new laws on advertising to children  of foods high in sugar.