Israel's health minister has called on the country to downsize its consumption of junk food and boycott McDonald's.

Yakov Litzman told a cardiologists' conference that McDonald's is "out."

He says: "There is no need to eat junk food. Not in our country."

Litzman urged educating children not to eat junk food and sweets and stressed that the health ministry will focus on "prevention" medicine this year to curb disease.

Israeli cuisine is generally healthy with its traditional ingredients similar to the Mediterranean diet but junk food is also popular.

Litzman's comments, broadcast Tuesday evening on channel 10 TV, were unusual because he specifically named the burger chain.

Channel 10 says McDonald's has made healthy changes to its menu in Israel and relayed a statement from the chain condemning Litzman's remarks.