Food manufacturers should be forced by law to cut the fat, sugar and salt in their products to tackle Britain's obesity crisis, according to a former health minister.

Former secretary of state for health, Alan Milburn has urged the government to tell the Food Standards Agency to ban products unless the industry reduced such ingredients, reported The Independent.

Milburn told a conference in Oxford that a summit was needed, attended by the food industry, retailers, consumer groups and the NHS, to look at improving the nation's diet.

Milburn said: "We cannot force people to be healthy or to give up smoking or to take exercise. Individuals have to want to do that themselves.

“What we can do is to provide the opportunities for them to do so."