Traffic lights make healthy choices easier


CHOICE says consumers deserve better than flimsy figures

CHOICE says that a survey released today by the Australian Food and Grocery Council [AFGC] tells only half the story on front-of-pack labels.

The people’s watchdog is calling for the introduction of a traffic lights system, providing consumers with information at a glance.

“Evidence shows that consumers are five times more likely to choose a healthier product using traffic lights than the Daily Intake Guides preferred by the AFGC,” says CHOICE spokesperson Ingrid Just. 1

“Our recent review of 159 mueslis showed that three-quarters carried nutrition claims despite many having significant levels of fat, sugar and salt.”

“Traffic lights are about helping Australians wade through these choices without having to carry a calculator to the supermarket,” says Ms Just.

CHOICE says the Federal Government has a unique opportunity to improve the health of current and future Australians when it responds to the independent review of food labelling, which recommends traffic light labelling.

“As usual, we hear claims that changing food labels will be expensive, with examples of traffic lights out of context, but these claims never account for the costs to consumers of the current sub-standard system,” says Ms Just.

The people’s watchdog will continue its campaign for better food labels ahead of the Federal Government’s response to the independent review of food labelling in late 2011.

For more information, see:

Media Contacts:
• Ingrid Just, Head of Media, CHOICE: 0430 172 669
• Matt Levey, Head of Campaigns, CHOICE: 0488 214 066

1 See Kelly et al (2009), ‘Consumer testing of the acceptability and effectiveness of front-of-pack food labelling systems for the Australian grocery market’, Health Promotion International.

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