The Government has called for a “real step change” in the contributions made by the food and drink industry to tackle obesity. The sector has been urged to go further than its commitments under the Responsibility Deal in its new document, Healthy Lives, Health People: A call to action on obesity in England. The Government does not call for the kind of “fat tax” being pursued in Denmark, although the idea has not been ruled out at some point in the future. The document says the Responsibility Deal on food, which includes commitments to provide calorie information on food and soft drinks, makes an “important contribution” to healthy eating. Fourty companies including McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Mitchells & Butlers have signed up to the pledge. But the Government calls for further action, including, for example, “reformulation of products to make them less energy dense, portion control, and actions to encourage consumers to choose these products through a responsible balance of promotional activity". “This calls for a real step-change in the public health contribution of the food and drink industry and we are expecting to see significant commitments and will keep progress under review.” Meanwhile, the Responsibility Deal on alcohol is looking to develop further pledges to “support calorie reduction” – the document says 9% of calorie intake for those who drink is from alcohol. The document highlighted the commitment from Heineken to reduce the strength of major brand, which would alo reduce the calorie content. “The Network is looking to further develop similar pledges.” The overall aim is to cut calorie intake across the country by five billion calories per day. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “We have already seen how we can move further, faster through the Responsibility Deal and I am now challenging business to help us make even greater progress. “Reducing the number of calories we consume is essential. It can happen if we continue action to reduce calories in everyday foods and drinks, and if all of us who are overweight take simple steps to reduce our calorie intake." The proposed action has been attacked by health campaigners. Professor Philip James, of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, told the BBC it was a "stupid" and "pathetic" response to the problem of obesity. He said: "It is not simply a question of personal responsibility. There is an environmental problem in terms of the food system we have."