Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham will announce that Labour would set a limit on fats, salt and sugar in food marketed to children, should they be elected.

In a speech given on 15 January, Burnham will criticise the government’s approach to industry, and emphasise the need for action to protect children and obesity.

Labour’s changes would feature strict rules on food labelling, including a clearer traffic light system.

In a statement on the Labour website, the party said: “Figures show that unless firm action is taken to halt the rise in obesity and diabetes, the cost of diabetes to the NHS will rise from £10 billion to £17bn a year by 2035.”

The Conservatives said “real progress” had been made on public health under the current government.

A Conservative spokesman said: “Labour is naive to think that just banning particular types of food will support people to make informed choices. The public deserve better.”

What the industry says

Campaign group Action on Sugar has called this issue a government priority. 

Katharine Jenner, campaign director for Action on Sugar, said: “One of the greatest failures in tackling Britain’s obesity epidemic is the current government’s appeasement of the food industry; we cannot allow this to go on any longer.

“The so called ‘Responsibility Deal’, which allows the food industry to regulate themselves (likened to ‘Dracula being put in control of the blood bank’), has clearly failed. It’s time for it to be scrapped. Introducing maximum limits on products containing sugar, salt and fat marketed to vulnerable children should be a government priority.”

Gordon Polson, Director of the Federation of Bakers said: "I think that what labour is suggesting is something we already do. Bread is low in fat, low in sugar and low in salt, and all the information about ingredients is something we provide anyway, and that is what we will continue to do."