Foods like pizza would be given a yellow label, indicating they could be consumed 'sometimes.'

A New Zealand government committee is taking an innovative approach to curbing bad eating habits.

It is recommending "traffic light" labelling to warn consumers about obesity-causing food and drinks if companies won't act voluntarily.

After a 10-month inquiry,the majority of lawmakers on the committee recommended a system of red, yellow and green labels to indicate the levels of fat, salt and sugar.

The red label— to be used for food such as cakes, pies and chocolates— would warn consumers that the products should only be consumed occasionally.

Yellow labels onfoods such as pizzawould mean the product couldbe eaten "sometimes" while green-labelled products such as low-fat yogurt could be eaten daily.

The committee also recommended guidelines for food-related advertising.

It warned obesity threatens to overwhelm New Zealand's health system. More than half of New Zealand's four million people are either overweight or obese, including over 30 per cent of children.