Pub company and menu consultancy the Food and Beverage (FAB) Group has backed the government's new action plan to improve the nation's health.
Last week the Publican reported on health minister Melanie Johnson's consultation paper Choosing Health? Choose a Better Diet. Ms Johnson has urged food pubs and other caterers to take responsibility for helping customers make sensible choices.
Samantha Pedder, creative manager for the FAB Group, said she agreed that pubs had a big part to play in tackling Britain's obesity problem.
"We have a responsibility to society to make our attitude towards what the Department of Health has set out to achieve positive, constructive and informative," she said.
"We have to take responsibility in the pub trade - each and every one of us can and must affect what our customers are eating.
"There is a fantastic opportunity for the pub trade to educate and contribute positively to the lifestyles of our customers through reducing our chefs' use of salt, directing our customers to the healthier choices on our menus and encouraging a balanced eating plan.
"We will be encouraging all of our clients to look again at their product lists and as food consultants will continue to learn and educate as many people as we can. We want our clients to live long and happy lives, how do you feel about your customers?"
But readers of thePublican.com were not so supportive of the government's plans, believing healthy eating is not a concern for pubs.
"There was a time when it was the government's duty to educate the public about possible hazards, not small business people," wrote Adrian Thomas.
"Maybe pubs should also start budgeting for the hire of a 'lifestyle consultant', a personal trainer and a GP?"
Chere Goddard wrote: "I was under the impression that it is our duty not to serve a police officer on duty, a certain lady of the night or a person who is drunk. I do not think it is my duty to tell someone what they may or may not eat."
Pubs have a duty to offer healthier foods, say MPs (14 May 2004)