The government has delayed publication of its Childhood Obesity Strategy until the summer.

The strategy, which is thought to contain plans to ban the merchandising of sugary, fatty and salty products at retail till points, was widely expected to have been published this month.

A tax of 20% on all full sugar soft drinks is also thought to be under consideration.

However, the Department of Health (DoH) has now said that the strategy is still being worked on and will not be published until the summer.

A spokesperson said: “We are now confirming that the childhood obesity strategy will be published in summer.

“The strategy will be a key step forward in helping our children live healthier lives, but there is still work to be done to get it right.”

The Food and Drink Federation said the delay would cause the industry further worries.

”It’s very disappointing to learn that the government’s childhood obesity strategy has been delayed again,” a spokeswoman said.

“There is an urgent need for co-ordinated action to tackle this issue. Today’s announcement will also mean several further months’ of uncertainty for the food industry, broadcasters and retailers. Nonetheless our food and drink producers remain ready and willing to work with government, and others, to tackle obesity.”