Obesity: New Food Labelling System Planned
A new food labelling system to help people check the healthiness of products is set to be introduced across all supermarkets.
Labels will include information on guideline daily amounts (GDAs), be colour coded with a traffic light system and use the words "high", "medium" or "low" to inform people about how much fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories are inside.
Food nutritionist Nicole Berberian told Sky News: "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."
Obesity has more than tripled in the last 25 years and more than 60% of adults are now either obese or overweight. About 30% of children are also considered overweight or obese.
Obesity, which is a major risk factor for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease, costs the NHS an estimated £5bn each year, and costs the wider economy billions more, according to the Department of Health.
Peter Hollins, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said the announcement was a "quantum leap" forward for public health.
"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," he said.
The new label is expected to be in use by next summer, but the exact design is still to be decided.
what do you think?
The only labels people look at are the prices. They eat what they can afford. And what they like...
I do agree that we do need a universal labelling system but although it upsets me to say this . A lot of people who have weight issues will still not read the labels . You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink !!! I hope it does help with the problem but when I sit in my local shopping precinct I see more and more people who are obese or morbidly obese and they are still managing to pour rubbish into themselves . I dont think there is one answer !!!
This is a good idea, lets hope it works with peaple as some of the current labelling is confusing.obesity is a big problem in this country..
At last we have some sort of information in a quick and easy readable way to know what is in our food. How will this affect the food prices? Can we trust the supermarkets or the producers to put the correct labels on? What safe guards do we have? Is this going to get abused?
I bought packet of peanuts yesterday and on the label it said '"may contain nuts" Errr? That's why I bought them lol
Also nuts contain alot of fat so people will presume theyre bad for you.
Danny, some nuts do. Walnuts are low in fat and high in protein. I don't eat meat. So, tend to eat more pulses, nuts and leafy veg. I don't eat junk food! I'm a bit of a fitness fanatic too. :)
Haha same. But just goes to show that unless people are educated or educate themselves, no amount of labelling will make a difference.
It is also about portion control. Nuts are good fat. As you said it is about education and as I have said it is about being able to cook. Cooking from scratch is not that expensive compared to living off fast food or prepared dishes. If you are clever you can make food go a long way
Jasmin, unfortnately anyone with a food alergy can sue a company if they do not put that on the packet, because they could buy the nuts, eat them and be ill. There are people that would do that.
Jo, I know that. It was just a tongue in cheek comment :)
It's all well having yet another labelling system but have they thought about making healthier food cheaper and junk food more expensive?
Junk food is expensive, cooking from scratch is cheap. The problem is people do not know how to cook. It is now taught in schools as it was when I was at school but there is a group of people who do not know or want to cook. To feed a family of four at a fast food chain is very expensive but even to buy food to make a healthy meal at what is percieved as a high end retailer is cheaper.
Its a another PC gimmick. The producers of bacon and sausages are going to be hit when their products are high in essential proteins needed for a balanced healthy life. These foods in moderation never hurt anyone and can be grilled to allow a lot of the fat to run out. I'm still gonna enjoy my Saturday fry up!
We don't need fancy labels we just need manufacturers to be forced to ptifuce good healthy food and to stop messing with it just to enlarge there profits But better still bring back cooking classes in school and cooking fresh food Healthier and in most cases cheaper using local fresh produce
I dont know where you come from, but the healthy foods here as well as local fresh produce is expensive.thats if they havent closed down and been turned into a second hand shop.
Good points , Paul, just every now and then I will pick up a random packet, eg well known delight mix, not to buy, to read, it's a bunch of chemicals! Typical of most of the pretty, brightly coloured packets etc, imagine them all in a plain brown packet, listing the ingredients in bold black writing, ....would people still buy?
You dont need a label to tell u too many kebabs pies and 8yr olds eating a large bag of crisps on the way to school every morning will stop you seeing your feet
I have a female freind whose genectally very obese. She s been to weight watchers umpteen times on the atkins diet and every diet you can name.trouble is she becomes very depressed and become very tearful. "Ill never meet a man while im like this ""she ll cry.but as soon as something bad happens,typically an arguement with her family , she goes out and buys herself a large bar of chocalate and gulps it down.yet whilst she gulping it down ive not seen her happier. So this leads me to believe there are more pshicalogical problems to her condition.anyway she believes that if she sees a red label on packaging she will not buy it.so i think this proves it can only do some good.repshi
Don't know why you got a thumbs down, poor lady, hopefully this system will help her, she's lucky to have a good friend like you :-)
Chocolate has a red symbol on it
A simple traffic light system is all we need. All this labelling informing us of recommended daily amouts is pointless. Who on earth adds this useless information up as they go round a supernarket or when they sit down to dinner??
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