Health campaigners are calling for a fat tax on treats like cakes and ice cream to help tackle the obesity timebomb.
Products that can pile on the pounds should have a levy imposed in a bid to force food firms to cut the calories.
Pressure group Action on Sugar and Action on Salt is urging the Government to bring in a charge similar to the sugar tax imposed on fizzy drinks.
Experts say saturated fat like butter, cream and lard in food add more calories to the daily diet than sugar and should be slashed to help control expanding waistlines.
The demand for a levy on “excessive calories” would see some of the nation’s best loved puds like Jam Roly Poly – adored by I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here! winner Harry Redknapp – face a fat tax.
Tea-time favourites like chocolate cake and Victoria sponge along with biscuits, chocolate spreads, ice cream and milkshakes would all fall foul of the levy.
The action group wants a fat tax to sit alongside the current sugar tax which has imposed 24p per litre on drinks containing 8g or more of sugar per 100ml and 18p per litre on those with 5-7.9g of sugar per 100ml and raked in £340 million since April 2018.
While the charge would hit manufacturers, it would be passed on to shoppers who would face higher bills at the checkout.
Action on Salt and Sugar said the rate could follow the Mexican model where an 8% tax was imposed on junk food with more than 275 calories per 100g, six years ago.
According to the group’s research, the dramatic variation in the amount of fat in treats “indicates that reformulation is easily achievable”.
For example the study found fat in Victoria sponges can differ from 8.5g to a gut busting 24.7g per 100g while chocolate cake can vary from 12.2g to 27.5g of fat per 100g.
Katharine Jenner, campaign director of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt said: “Manufacturers are simply not doing enough.
“If the Government is really committed to helping the less well off, they need to tackle the food industry and a feasibility study needs to be undertaken without delay.
“An ‘excess calorie levy’ would encourage manufacturers to improve the nutritional quality of their unhealthy foods and most importantly, tackle the thousands who suffer the consequences of a poor diet, leading to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.”
And chairman Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at London’s Queen Mary University said a fat-tax would force food firms to revamp recipes and cut calories to avoid paying it.
He added: “This levy should be invested back in a much more comprehensive approach to prevent obesity in both children and adults.”
The recommended daily levels of saturated fat should be no more than 30g for men and 20g for women.
By comparison a slice (66g) of Mary Berry Indulgent Chocolate Cake has 5.3g of saturated fat, a portion of supermarket Jam Roly Poly has 8.4g and two scoops of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream contain 8.9g.