Cadbury to stop making, selling chocolate bars in Britain containing more than 250 calories in response to government's voluntary anti-obesity drive

LONDON , June 4, 2014 () – Cadbury is to stop making and selling chocolate bars in Britain containing more than 250 calories in response to the government's voluntary anti-obesity drive.

Cadbury, owned by the US confectionery group Mondelez International, has said it will phase out "bar and a half" products such as Dairy Milk bar and a half. Mondelez said it would also consider altering the size of at least two other brands.

Most of Mondelez's products already fall below the 250-calorie cap, but the company said the move was part of its commitment to "help our consumers snack mindfully".

In a statement it said: "Mondelez knows it has a part to play in helping people lead healthier lives, which is why we signed the calorie reduction pledge. As part of this pledge, we have committed that, by the end of 2015, all our single-serve confectionery products [bars] will be 250 calories or less."

The announcement was made last week in an update to the Department of Health's voluntary anti-obesity scheme with food companies.

In 2012 Mars said it would cut the calorie content of its bars to a maximum of 250 calories by the end of 2013, in line with the public health responsibility deal promoted by Andrew Lansley when he was health secretary.

The deal has been criticised for letting companies off the hook, since businesses only have to make voluntary pledges of limited action in return for ministerial promises not to impose tougher rules.

The responsibility deal is a voluntary scheme that asks companies to sign up to pledges to support healthy choices. This includes reducing salt, fat, sugar, alcohol unit and calories in their products, and taking action to improve health at work and promote physical activity.

But many companies have so far ignored the government's pleas. Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Danone and other big food and drink producers are among the firms who have shunned appeals to make their products less energy-dense.

(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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