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Top firms pledge to cut calories
Major firms including Coca-Cola, Subway and Tesco have pledged to cut calories from foods to help tackle obesity, the Health Secretary has revealed.
Seventeen companies, including supermarkets, food manufacturers and food outlets, have signed a new "calorie reduction pledge" as part of the Government's responsibility deal.
Andrew Lansley said the agreement, involving more than three-quarters of the retail market, would help cut "five billion calories" from the nation's diet every day.
He added: "Eating and drinking too many calories is at the heart of the nation's obesity problem."
Those signed up include Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, Coca-Cola Great Britain, Kerry Foods, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, PepsiCo, Premier Foods, Unilever, Beefeater (part of Whitbread), Subway and contract caterer Compass.
Under the pledge, Asda will develop a new reduced-calorie brand that will contain at least 30% fewer calories than its Chosen By You brand.
Coca-Cola will reduce the calories in some of its soft drinks by at least 30% by 2014 while Mars will cap the number of calories in its chocolate to 250 per portion by the end of 2013.
Meanwhile, Morrisons has pledged to launch a range of more than 300 healthier products and Premier Foods, which makes Ambrosia, Batchelors, Hovis, Loyd Grossman, Mr Kipling, Angel Delight and Sharwood's, will reduce calories in a third of its sales by the end of 2014.
Some 30% of new products will also be "lower calorie choices", according to the Department of Health.
Subway now offers five out of its nine low-fat subs, each with fewer than 370 calories, as part of its £3 lunch offer and Tesco is also "on track" to remove 1.8 billion calories from its soft drinks and will expand its Eat, Live, Enjoy range.