Diabetes UK is disappointed the European Union has not enforced the traffic light system alongside plans to impose standard nutritional information in food labelling across 27 countries.
The move, unveiled by the European Commission, means all pre-packaged food will need to clearly display amounts of sugar, salt, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and energy on the front of packaging.
The rules, announced by Markos Kyprianou, the EU’s health commissioner, are an attempt to combat rising levels of obesity.
Traffic-light system better
However, Diabetes UK maintains the EU should also have implemented the traffic-light system, which uses red, amber and green to reflect levels of salt, sugar and fat. The alternative is the guideline daily amount (GDA) system.
“The commission is right to recognise the importance of clear, front-of-pack labelling to help consumers make healthier food choices," said Phaedra Neal, Public Affairs Officer at Diabetes UK.
“But it has ignored evidence which shows the traffic light system works better than the GDA percentage system in allowing people to assess nutrient content and compare different foods.”
The Food Standards Agency said it is launching consultations on the plans with all "stakeholders” in Britain.