High street chains 'ignoring obesity drive'

Major high-street chain stores have been accused of ignoring government guidelines intended to reduce obesity.

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Food retailers such as Costa Coffee, Pizza Express and Garfunkels have been identified as shunning the Department of Health initiative which had asked outlets to specify how many calories their products contain.

A survey, carried out by Which?, found that only two of Britain's top 10 restaurant chains HAVE agreed to show calories - Harvester and JD Wetherspoon.

The other eight which have not got involved include Pizza Express, Ask, Cafe Rouge, Garfunkels, Beefeater and Prezzo.

And of the nation'a five most popular cafe chains, only Marks and Spencer and Starbucks are taking part - with Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee and Cafe Ritazza all shunning the scheme.

The other main planks of the voluntary government initiative were reducing salt in food and cutting out the use of unhealthy trans-fats.

The Which? survey found that good progress had been made on salt but that Iceland, Findus, Princes and Birds Eye had not pledged to reduce the amount in their foods.

And when it came to trans-fat, most manufacturers had cut it out - but Lidl and Caffe Nero were stil using it.

What do you reckon? Is the initiative toothless? Do we need stricter laws? Comment below...