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Tesco to introduce traffic light food labelling

Diabetes UK has today welcomed the decision by Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, to introduce a new food labelling scheme that includes traffic light labels.

The retailer has announced that it will include traffic light coding, high, medium and low text, with the addition of percentage guideline daily amounts, on all food labels to enable shoppers to make healthy choices.

Effective food labelling

Its decision follows a Government consultation on food labelling, during which Diabetes UK called for traffic light colours on all food labels to help tackle Type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese account for 80–85 per cent of the overall risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Effective food labelling is also needed to enable people with diabetes (Type 1 and 2) to manage their condition, as diets high in fat, salt and sugar can increase their risk of developing serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputation.

Healthier choices, happier lives

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said, "This decision by Tesco to use a traffic light system on all its food labels is great news for consumers, and will help give millions of people across the country the information they need to make healthier choices and lead happier lives.

"We welcome this move because evidence shows that the traffic light system works help shoppers make healthy choices when buying food and this could be an important milestone in the effort to reduce the number of people in the UK who are overweight or obese.

"With around a quarter of adults in the UK classed as obese, and so at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic conditions, it is important that we have food labelling that makes it as easy as possible for people to make healthy choices."

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