Government efforts to tackle obesity by singling out some foods are confusing the public, according to a Tory MP.

Shadow tourism minister and former nurse Anne ­Milton said fat people should simply eat less and exercise more to lose weight.

It was time to inject some common sense into the diet debate, she said, rather than focusing attention on food and labels.

"If you constantly consume more calories than you burn off, you are going to become fatter. It is as simple as that," said Milton. "But the government has become obsessive about fatty and healthy foods and that is not helpful.

"The situation has become a huge muddle and the public has been left feeling unclear as various claims are bandied around stating that food X is healthy or food Y is unhealthy - when the real issue is how much people eat."