Supermarket giants will finally adopt a version of ‘traffic-light labelling’ for packs to help end confusion about which are the healthiest and unhealthiest foods, health minister Anna Soubry announced today
The announcement of the proposed system – a combination of guideline daily amounts (GDA), colour coding and high/medium/low text – comes after a three-month consultation with retailers, manufacturers and other interested parties on what a consistent, clear front pack label should look like.
‘Front of pack labels’
After years of debate and dissent, public health minister Anna Soubry said: “The UK already has the largest number of products with front of pack labels in Europe but research has shown that consumers get confused by the wide variety of labels used.
“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.”
Currently, supermarkets use their own systems, each displaying the information with different visuals, colour and content.
The Department of Health (DH) said the current approach makes it hard for consumers to compare food.
The new label is expected to be in use by summer 2013.