Majority of people want clearer food labelling

By June Shannon Obesity News   |   4th Mar 2020

The Irish Heart Foundation is calling on the public to back the introduction of clearer labelling on foods by supporting the Nutri-Score

Today (Wednesday 04th March ) on World Obesity Day, the Irish Heart Foundation is urging the Irish public to support an EU wide petition aimed at replacing confusing dietary information on food packaging with a clear and simple nutritional label known as the Nutri Score to help shoppers make healthy choices.

Originally devised in France, The Nutri-Score is a five coloured nutritional score that ranks foods on a scale of A (healthy choices) to E (less healthy) depending on their nutritional value. So, for example foods high in vegetables, fruits and nuts, fibre and protein would get an A score while those high in sugar, salt and fats would get an E score.

A new Empathy Research poll has found that 77 per cent of Irish adults support regulations requiring colour-coded food labelling that indicates if a product is health or unhealthy; while 73 per cent back rules preventing any claim of nutrition or health benefits on junk food packaging.

Helena O’Donnell, Advocacy Officer, Irish Heart Foundation, said consumers should be entitled to know if what they’re buying is healthy or unhealthy through clear and concise information to help them make a quick, informed decision.

“However, shoppers are regularly subjected to confusing dietary information, misleading health claims and deceptive images on packaging that make choosing a healthy shopping basket difficult to achieve.

" Research shows that use of the Nutri-Score reduces deaths from diet-related disease, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure and lung and colorectal cancer, by more than 3 per cent ,"

Helena O Donnell, Advocacy Officer , The Irish Heart Foundation

“The effectiveness of front-of-pack labelling has been established. Research shows that use of the Nutri-Score reduces deaths from diet-related disease, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure and lung and colorectal cancer, by more than 3 per cent.

“Therefore, on World Obesity Day we’re urging people to sign the petition and call on the EU Commission to adopt the Nutri-Score – it really will make a difference to what consumers buy and ultimately to their health.”

As part of their campaign efforts to reduce childhood obesity, the Irish Heart Foundation and supportive campaigners will be encouraging people to sign the Nutri-Score petition between now and the deadline of 8th May. The petition is hosted by the European Citizen’s Initiative and can be accessed online here

Mandatory front of pack labelling is included in the Irish Heart Foundation’s Childhood Obesity Manifesto put together by some of Ireland’s leading obesity experts with the aim of cutting childhood rates by 50 per cent by 2030.

The Manifesto includes calls for; legislation prohibiting all forms of unhealthy food marketing to children online, along with a 9pm watershed for all food and beverage advertising; mandatory reformulation of unhealthy food and beverages; measures to control portion size. The document also highlights evidence on how restrictions on price promotions placement at checkouts and end-of-aisles can significantly reduce sales of junk products.

To read more about the Irish Heart Foundation’s Childhood Obesity Manifesto please see here

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childhood obesity childhood obesity manifesto food labelling food labels International Obesity Day nutrition

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