A collaboration of organisations came together in Parliament yesterday to show a united front for traffic light food labelling.
Food labels are vital in helping people make quick decisions about what foods they buy. This groundbreaking system of colour-coded traffic light labelling has been developed by the Food Standards Agency to be used by supermarkets and manufacturers.
The traffic light model provides a clear guide about the level of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt in products which are highly processed like ready meals, by labelling each nutrient as either high (red), medium (amber), or low (green).
Obesity is a major risk factor in developing Type 2 diabetes, with 80 per cent of people diagnosed being overweight. It is imperative that people are given more information to help them eat a balanced diet as it is projected that 3m people will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2010, mainly due to the rise in obesity.
Eating a healthy diet and taking physical activity are not only an important factors in preventing Type 2, but also very important to control both types of diabetes once diagnosed - to avoid the devastating complications of poorly controlled diabetes.
“It is important that more is done to help people make an informed choice about the food they eat,” said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.
“Traffic light labelling works, as it is quick and easy to interpret. Putting adequate food labelling on food is paramount to helping people stay healthy and will therefore help save the NHS money in future. We need supermarkets and manufacturers to unite to put this system in place.”
The organisations that supported the event were Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation, the National Consumer Council, the National Heart Forum, Netmums.com, Which?, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Boots, The Co-operative, Marks and Spencer, McCain, Sainsbury’s, Virgin Trains and Waitrose.