Standardised food labelling system backed by supermarkets

18 June 2013

Choosing healthy foods may now be a little easier for Britons, as supermarkets have launched a new traffic light system to differentiate between bad options and food that’s relatively low in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt. The system has been standardised throughout most stores, whereas before, each business had their own system for visually representing the healthiness of products.

So far, The Co-operative, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Premier Foods, PepsiCo UK, Nestle UK, Mars UK and McCain Foods have agreed to use the new labelling system. Up to 60 per cent of food sold throughout the UK will carry the standardised traffic light labels.

The change is part of a nationwide bid to lower the obesity rate and increase the UK’s overall health. On average, the NHS spends £5.1 billion on obesity-related health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

According to the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency, red food labels will indicate to consumers that a product is high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt, while amber colouring represents food of medium health quality. Green will be used to signify good, healthy options.

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