A NEW consistent front-of-pack nutrition labeling system is being launched today by Public Health Minister Anna Soubry, in an effort to help consumers make more informed food purchasing decisions.
The new label will combine traffic light colour-coding and nutritional information on fat, salt, sugar and calorie content in food products after research showed that consumers found the various food labels currently in existence to be ‘bewildering’.
The aim of the new label is to make it simpler for consumers to fully understand the health value of the food they are buying.
Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said: “The UK already has the largest number of products using a front of pack label in Europe but we know that people get confused by the variety of labels that are used.
“People will be able to use the colours to understand the levels of nutrients in the food they are eating. The labels are not designed to demonise foods with lots of reds but to have people consider what they are eating and make sure it’s part of a balanced diet. People will also at a glance be able to compare the same kinds of foods and see if there’s a healthier option – for example, if they are buying a ready meal.”
Some of the biggest food companies in the UK have announced their support for the new system, and will be joining all major retailers in using the consistent label on the front of their products.
The scheme is also being backed by health campaigners and charities.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “High levels of diet-related chronic diseases in the UK, including heart disease, mean it’s essential we have clear and consistent food labeling so people can make healthy choices. “We’re delighted all the major supermarkets are committed to the scheme and look forward to more food manufacturers signing up.”
Businesses that have signed up to using the new label today already account for more than 60 per cent of the food that is sold in the UK.
- A Health & Vitality Special Interest Group recently formed in the foodservice industry. The group will be reconvening on 4th of July, chaired by Amanda Ursell, with Dr Susan Jebb in attendance. Labelling will be high on the agenda.
- Enter your achievements in the health and wellbeing agenda in the Health & Vitality Honours 2014 open for submissions 1st August 2013