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New food labelling guidelines

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has agreed to the implementation of a single approach to front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling that it says will best help consumers make healthier choices when they buy food.

Food businesses will be encouraged to use all three elements found by independent research to help UK consumers interpret nutritional information: traffic light colours (red, amber and green), text (high, medium or low) and percentage Guideline Daily Amounts (% GDAs).

Businesses are also encouraged to ensure that the information is presented on the packaging in a way that is clearly visible and prominent. To avoid consumer confusion, colours other than traffic lights should not be used. Additionally, information on portion size should be realistic and not mislead, and the labels should be used on a wider range of processed packaged foods.

Need to ensure consistency

“Diabetes UK welcomes any additional information on front-of pack food labelling to help consumers make healthier choices when buying food," said Zoe Harrison, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK.

“Traffic light colours (red, amber and green), text (high, medium or low) and percentage guidelines have all been found to be effective in helping consumers understand nutritional information. Diabetes UK welcomes the Food Standard Agency’s recommendation that food businesses will be encouraged to use all three of these elements on food labelling to ensure that the information provided is consistent on all food labels.”

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