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Government launches improved labelling system to tackle obesity

Published on 19/06/2013

A colour-coded nutritional labelling system is being launched by the Department of Health to make it easier for consumers to choose healthier foods.

Two thirds of UK adults are overweight or obese

The system has been based on the three traffic light colours and the green, amber and red labels on foods indicate how much fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories are in food products.

Research has shown that current labelling has caused some confusion in the past and a survey found that this colour-coded system was liked the most.

Anna Soubry, Public Health Minister, 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.

“Research shows that, of all the current schemes, people like this label the most and they can use the information to make healthier choices.”

The NHS estimates that over five billion pounds is spent on obesity-related treatment and around two-thirds of adults are considered overweight or obese.

Consumers will be able to identify quickly and efficiently which products are healthier for them at a glance. It will be easier to make a comparison between products to assess whether there is a healthier option available.

Obesity can be fatal and a growing epidemic has caused campaigners to target the way food is labelled and presented to customers.

This latest step towards clarity in food products has been welcomed and campaigners have been encouraged by the number of big brands that have signed up to the initiative.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This is undeniably a first-class scheme that will make it easier for shoppers to scan the shelves and make more informed choices about what’s going in their trolley.

“We’re delighted all the major supermarkets are committed to the scheme and look forward to more food manufacturers signing up.”

Some health insurance policies can reward you for buying fruit and vegetables and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

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