Are You Still Confused By Food Labels?

08/12/2010 10:30 | Updated 22 May 2015

Nutrition labels on food are confusingAre you confused by nutrition labels on food? Photo: Flickr, fruity monkey

When it comes to grocery shopping, are you a compulsive food label reader? If you're trying to lose weight, cut down on the salt in your diet or you just generally want to eat more healthily, then you probably do check the labels before you buy.

According to consumer campaigners Which?, however, shoppers are still confused by nutrition labelling. The problem is there still isn't a single system for nutrition labels, with different manufacturers and supermarkets often using their own systems.

These include traffic light systems - which usually show at a glance whether a food is high, medium or low in calories, fat, salt and sugar - and GDA systems, which state the percentages of guideline daily amounts. The result of having all these competing systems, says Which?, means shoppers are puzzled about what they should be looking out for where food is concerned.

EU health ministers have agreed that nutrition labelling should be compulsory, which means all foods made in Europe will have to display how much fat (including saturated), carbohydrates, protein, sugars and salt they contain. And in the near future all foods containing pork, sheep, goat and poultry will also have to include information on their country of origin.

But the fight for a single nutrition labelling system is likely to continue until 2012, which looks like the earliest any EU legislation is likely to come into force.

How would you like to see nutrition information displayed on food packaging? Wouldn't it be a good idea to just keep it simple?

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