New Food Labeling To Come Into Use



Although a new system is needed to make this clearer to people that the new system is still not obligatory will mean that those foods which need to be labeled the most will still not have to be. If preventing obesity and helping people to make healthy choices is really a priority then a system needs to be obligatory for it to properly work. 

Posted by James Lamper



A new labeling system for food to help people make sense of their guideline daily amount (GDA) has been created. It will mean that packages are colour coded in a traffic light way, red for high levels, orange for medium and green for low levels of fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories.

Food nutritionist Nicole Berberian said “The main thing that you notice at the moment is that labels are different for each different supplier. They could be on the front, they could be on the side, they could be colour coded, they could be randomly colour coded, so it’s very difficult to know what to look for. What we are trying to do is get a uniformed system, so consumers know where to look, what to look for and when they are looking they will know straight away at a glance what it means.”

Health minister Anna Soubry said: “By having a consistent system we will all be able to see at a glance what is in our food. This will help us all choose healthier options and control our calorie intake. Obesity and poor diet cost the NHS billions of pounds every year. Making small changes to our diet can have a big impact on our health and could stop us getting serious illnesses, such as heart disease, later in life.”

Over the past 25 years the obesity rate has tripled with now mow more than 60% adults considered either overweight or obese with 30% of children also falling into these categories. Obesity puts you at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and it is thought that this costs the NHS approx. £5 billion per year. 

Peter Hollins who is chief executive of the British Heart Foundation has called the new system a “quantum leap” forward for public health. He said “It’s now down to each and every retailer and manufacturer to step up and introduce these consistent front of pack food labels, including traffic light colours, so shoppers can make healthy food choices at a glance.”

The new labeling system is expected to start being used by summer 2013.


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