Moves by snack food giant Kraft to cut portion sizes and rethink its marketing to children have been welcomed by consumer groups.
However, the Consumers' Association warned changes would have a minimal effect on the growing obesity crisis in the UK unless they were backed up by a commitment to make the products themselves more healthy. "Unless Kraft's plans include steps to reduce the fat, salt and sugar content of its food products this initiative will be little more than a PR exercise," said a spokesman.
Kraft's plans, which will be implemented globally, include capping portion sizes on single-serve packs, axing in-school marketing activity, re-thinking the products sold in school vending machines, and improving the nutritional labelling.
The nutritional content of all of its products, from Philadelphia and Dairylea cheeses to Oreos and Bird's custard, would also be scrutinised by a panel of experts. A strategy would be implemented between 2004-7.
However, it was too early to say whether Dairylea triangles would get smaller, or Bird's custard would be reformulated, said corporate affairs manager Joanne Scott. "This is not simply about shrinking products. It's more about not creating megapacks designed for sharing that are then consumed by one person. It's also about building on what we've already done, such as creating a light version of Philadelphia."

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