The Government’s White Paper on Health, released earlier this afternoon, has confirmed that it wishes to introduce a traffic-light-style system to flag up health information on food products.

Also on the issues of obesity and diet, the report recommends:

*Increasing the availability of healthier foods, including fruit and vegetables

* Reducing the levels of salt, added sugars and fat in processed foods and drinks with set targets to achieve this, (as well as developing guidance on portion sizes to help work towards these targets)

* An independent task force will look at the best ways to prevent and treat obesity

* Ofcom will look at the way foods are advertised to children and voluntary restrictions will initially be placed on ‘junk food’ advertising to children

* A significant emphasis will be placed on schools, with free fruit and sport activities within and outside of school hours, particularly for 4-6 year olds.

* Nutrition and food will also be improved in schools and children will be encouraged to cycle to school

On the issues of alcohol, the report states that the Government will be:

* Working with the Portman Group to cut down on binge drinking

On smoking, as well as a staggered ban in various public places over the next few years, the Government will

* Develop a programme and legislation to strengthen local authority enforcement of underage tobacco sales

For a more in-depth analysis of the Government’s White Paper on Public Health, read this week’s issue of The Grocer from November 20.