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A MARS A DAY.

Byline: By REBECCA LEES South Wales Echo

King-size chocolate bars are to be cut down to size as the food and drinks industry tackles obesity head-on. Cadbury Trebor Bassett is one of the manufacturers to wage war on the epidemic, pledging to phase out larger bars next year.

Reducing portion sizes - like Nestle's Mars Big One and Maltesers King Size and Dairy Milk King Size - is one of seven key promises set out in the first Manifesto for Food and Health, published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) today.

An FDF spokeswoman said the industry wanted to help solve the obesity problem voluntarily, rather than face legislation.

'The manufacturing industry is already providing wider choice, changing the way it is marketing to children and changing its recipes,' the spokeswoman said.

'I do not think from now on we can be accused of dragging our feet.'

Mum-of-one Kim Jones, of Newport, said it was mainly down to parents to teach their children good eating habits.

'It's hard to dictate what children eat in school but you can educate them from an early age and offer fruit and cereal bars instead of sweets,' said Ms Jones, whose daughter Carly is nine.

'I work for Cancer Research and two thirds of cancers are preventable, due to diet and exercise. But this will definitely help.'

And Cardiff High School A-level student Lukas Todd, 18, said: 'If it does help to crack down on obesity, it will be good. I think more campaigns are needed to promote healthy foods rather than things like crisps.'

Under the blueprint's commitments, food labels will be clearer.

Lower salt, sugar and fat options will be available where possible and all vending machines will be removed from primary schools unless specifically requested by the school or LEA.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 27, 2004
Words:298
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