Keeping track of what we eat and choosing healthier foods could be made easier thanks to a consultation launched today on front-of-pack (FoP) nutrition labelling by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in both Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The consultation opens discussions with FSA key partners over how to achieve this through FoP nutrition labelling. Many food products sold in the UK already have some form of FoP labelling. However, different retailers and manufacturers have different ways of labelling, which can be confusing for consumers. Some use labels showing Guideline Daily Amount (%GDA), some use traffic light colour coding that highlights high fat sugar and salt content, and some use both. Research shows that a more consistent approach, used across all products, would make it easier for consumers to compare the nutritional information provided on the food they buy.
New EU regulations on food labelling were introduced at the end of last year that require manufacturers and retailers to make many changes to their food labels. While providing front-of-pack information is voluntary under the regulations, every company that does so has to provide information about calories alone, or calories plus the amount of fats, saturated fat, sugars and salt.
The FSA’s Strategic Plan supports the Scottish Government’s Preventing Obesity Route Map and outcomes within A Fitter Future for All (the Framework for Preventing and Addressing Overweight and Obesity in Northern Ireland, 2012-2022).