Fast food companies and the drinks industry are helping Tory and Lib Dem ministers draft their health policy.
McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken together with processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo are involved in writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease.
Tory health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has set up five “business responsibility deal networks” to advise government on its health policy.
The “alcohol deal” is chaired by the head of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
The “physical deal” is chaired by someone from the Fitness Industry Association which represent the interests of private gyms.
The sub-group on calories in the “food deal” is chaired by PepsiCo, owner of Walkers crisps.
Lansley is set to publish a white paper on public health outlining the coalition’s plans in the next few weeks.
The emphasis will be on “individual responsibility” and voluntary arrangements with the food and drink industry rather than regulation.
Food campaigner Jeanette Longfield said, “This is the equivalent of putting the tobacco industry in charge of smoke-free spaces.”