The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched new TV adverts to encourage shoppers to opt for healthy eating by using traffic light labels. They come as an international study names the UK as the number one fast food nation.

The TV ads, voiced by comedienne Dawn French, were aired during GMTV breaks this month. They remind shoppers that they can find red, amber and green labels on many bakery products, which make healthy eating easier.

The study, by global market research firm Synovate, found that 45% of those surveyed in the UK agreed with the statement: "I like the taste of fast food too much to give it up", closely followed by the US on 44% and Canada 37%.

The global survey looked at weight management among more than 9,000 people across 13 countries on five continents. Synovate’s global head of media Steve Garton said the survey had revealed conflicting attitudes. He explained: "People are inherently contradictory, and nowhere is it more obvious than on such a sensitive and important issue as their weight. The results show there’s a world of people who cannot deny themselves that hamburger or extra piece of pizza, but make themselves feel better by washing it down with a diet cola."

Around a third regularly weigh themselves, with 15% of the French and 12% of Americans weighing themselves every day.