So, it has been a long time coming, 10 years in fact, but today it was announced that a new food label in being introduced with the purpose of helping the public make healthier decisions about what they eat. Here is what the label looks like:
I know what you are thinking – ‘isn’t this the traffic light system that was introduced a while back?’ Yes it is, but it also includes the serving size and percentage of your guideline daily amount (GDA). This is what is hoped to make things more clear for the public.
But there are still problems:
- It is too simple – healthy foods such as salmon will have be red for fats
- Although simple, it can get confusing – is it better to have a food with 3 greens and 1 red, or a food with 2 greens and 2 ambler?
- This label is not compulsory, and only 60% of food manufacturers have signed up. This will be frustrating and confusing for the public, as different labeling systems can make it hard to follow what you are eating.
- No mention of micro-nutrients
Advantages are small (in my opinion) but do exist:
- At a glance it is easy to see what a food is high in
- For the majority of products it will help indicate healthy options. There are only a few exceptions which will be condemed.
- Servings size will should help with portion control
- Seeing the percentage of the GDA for each macro-nutrient provides consumers with a little more information which some may welcome.
So really, after 10 years I would have expected something more fool proof. It is a slight improvement on the previous system, but I think the disadvantages far out weight the advantages of this.