Marks and Spencer has taken on McVitie's Go Ahead! and other major health oriented brands with the launch of its Count on Us range for slimmers and the health conscious this week. The move is a brave attempt by the beleaguered retailer to add pizzazz in a week when it once again announced disappointing trading figures wih Christmas food sales up just 3.4%. Count on Us includes dishes not normally associated with slimmers such as Yorkshire pudding and orange and chocolate cake. This is the store's major launch this spring and is supported with a press and radio advertising campaign and instore menu planners. Marks and Spencer is aiming to harness the healthy' sector boom. "We want to be seen as a destination stop for health oriented consumers," said a spokeswoman. The store's Organic and the Healthy Choice ranges are also growing, she claimed. Marks and Spencer developed the Count on Us range, aimed at busy weight watchers, after customer research revealed that fat and calorie content are slimmers' main concerns. About 17 million Britons are dieting at any one time. The level of obesity in Britain has doubled since 1986, according to Mintel. The products all contain less than 3% fat. Ready meals have up to 400 calories and treats have fewer than 100. All are sited in a dedicated area within stores. Rsps: £1.49 to £4.99 meals; 99p to £1.79 sandwiches; 39p to £1.89 desserts; 99p - £1.99 accompaniments. {{P&P }}