Truth in food labelling

Nutrition claims on food labels often don't tell the full story.
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01.Selective labelling

Whether you’re in a rush to get to work, pick the kids up from school or get home in time to prepare for your dinner party, grocery shopping is regularly done in a hurry. And when there's no time to read the fine print on the back of food packaging, most people rely on front-of-pack claims to choose healthy products.

The problem is, these claims are often selective. Enticing promises of reduced salt may be a cover for a product high in saturated fat, and confectionery products in particular are notorious for distracting you from their sugary composition by boasting about their fat free status.

To illustrate, we picked up a random selection of supermarket products that make nutrition claims and applied nutrient traffic light labels, the criteria for which are based on the latest nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines established by government health experts in Australia and internationally.

For more information on Nutrition labelling, see Labelling and advertising.

What you see and what you don’t

(but what traffic light labelling would show you at a glance)


Gold Medal Brand Pork Krackles. "Great – yummy pork crackling snacks and look how healthy they sound. I must grab some for pre-dinner drinks." 



The Natural Confectionery Co. Soft Jellies Fruit Salad. "They’re all natural and practically fat free so they must be a good choice for my kids."


McVitie's Digestive The Original. "Full of wholemealy goodness and without hydrogenated fat nasties, what better bickie to dip in my cuppa." 



Uncle Tobys Yoghurt Topps Apricot. "Why bother with my usual bowl of Shredded Wheat when I can get my wholegrains from a bar?"



Fantastic Rice Crackers Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream. "So moreish, and with just 1% saturated fat it won’t matter if I have more than one handful."



Kellogg's Crispix Honey.  "What could be bad about fat free ‘crispy pillows of corn with a hint of honey’?"





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