Consumers taking part in an FSA study have condemned the food industry for "cynically" producing and selling food that damages their health.

The research examined people's views of saturated fat and energy in their food, focusing on issues that affect people's fat intakes, including dietary choices, shopping and cooking habits, and food labelling.

"Consumers acknowledge they love foods high in saturated fat and feel they should have freedom of choice but at the same time condemn an industry 'cynically' producing foods that damage their health," said the report. "Many consumers believe the way forward should be a compromise with saturated fat being reduced gradually, in order that the consumer palate can be re-educated and no one will lose out."

The study also showed that consumers reacted positively when retailers and manufacturers were seen to be making health pledges about the content of their food.