Sainsbury first to introduce traffic light labelling?

Related tags Food standards agency Nutrition Uk

UK retailer Sainsbury will be the first of the country's four large
grocery chains to launch 'traffic light' healthy eating labelling
in January, according to reports.

The use of labels to 'signpost' healthy foods is getting strong support from the UK government, as it steps up its public health campaign against obesity and related disease.

The country's Food Standards Agency announced last week that it will test a number of signposting methods, including 'traffic light labelling' with the food industry in order to make such labeling a realistic option for food manufacturers.

One adult in five is obese in the UK but earlier this year doctors warned that this number could rise to one in three by 2020 if nothing is done to tackle the fat epidemic.

Sainsbury's scheme will be called the 'Wheel of health' and will feature on 30 own-label products, including crisps and ready meals. Traffic light colours will be used to highlight the amounts of fat, saturated fat, added sugar, salt and calories per serving.

Leading retailer Tesco announced last May that it was planning to implement a similar scheme, although the launch has subsequently been delayed.

However all food retailers in the UK are expected to move in this direction in order to demonstrate to government and consumers that they are actively helping to counter the nation's obesity epidemic.

Tesco already labels foods with low-glycaemic index ratings and is introducing a new low-carb logo on more than 100 products from next year.

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