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Firms to help anti-obesity campaign

Companies such as Coca-Cola, Mars and Cadbury will be called on to provide more funding for anti-obesity campaigns.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said he wanted the public to realise products like chocolate and crisps from such firms could be incorporated into a healthy diet.

He added that people needed to take more responsibility for their own health.

It is "perfectly possible to eat a bag of crisps, to eat a Mars bar, to drink a carbonated soft drink" as long as it is in moderation, he said.

The Change4Life campaign was launched in January 2009 with £75 million of government funding over three years.

Cadbury, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, Kraft, Mars, Nestle and PepsiCo have all been involved, alongside Britvic and major supermarket Tesco.

Mr Lansley told public health workers that the government would be "progressively scaling back the proportion of taxpayers' money spent on Change4Life."

Private firms, local authorities and charities would be invited to fill the gap instead, he told the Faculty of Public Health conference in central London.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Andrew Lansley