The government is looking to members of the public for ideas on how to improve the nation’s health.

Key areas for consideration will be whether to restrict the advertising of foods deemed to be excessively fattening or to ban smoking in public places.

Food and Drink Federation, deputy director general, Martin Paterson, said that its welcomed the Department of Health’s white paper “as an opportunity to debate the roles of the different stakeholders in public health”.

The Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance called the consultation “a positive step forward”.

Health Secretary John Reid is seeking opinions on how the government should tackle issues like obesity, smoking and sexually transmitted infections.

Meanwhile, Queensbury school in Dunstable, Bedfordshire has become the first in Britain to replace the ‘junk food’ in its vending machines with healthy alternatives.