I started to write this piece with a view to seeing what it actually proposes. But on reading it I got angry and insulted. I felt belittled and talked down too. I felt that this document was treating me like a child. And most insulting of all that I needed someone to do the thinking for me. I feel the need to yell and scream at this document. But obviously I can’t point out every line in this policy. So here is some choice ones
People lead busy lives, so making healthier choices when shopping needs to be quick and easy. However, choosing the healthiest foods quickly is almost impossible at the moment for busy shoppers.
The average person buys 61 items in 26 minutes during a weekly shop. Given that each purchase implies some examination of competing products, this means that shoppers have all of seven seconds to scan each label. Is it any wonder that consumers confess to a feeling of helplessness as they navigate supermarket aisles?
Currently up to 11 different types of information are displayed on processed food products in
Ireland. By the time a bottle of sauce or a ready made chicken dinner is on the shelf shoppers are often very confused about what the information on the label actually really means.
Ok lets take an average label for coca cola. Clearly marked are calories, fat, sugar, protein, fibre sodium. What is confusing about that? Are we seriously saying that the majority of people do not know sodium =salt?
Add to this the spiraling obesity levels in this country and it becomes clear that consumers need impartial assistance in making healthy food choices.
Look to cause of rising obesity is really very very simple. 1.) People are eating crap and 2.) people are not exercising. Now people know these things. They know litres of Coke are not good for you, that crisps are not good for you that chocolate is not good for you. Parents for instance, know this yet they still give their kids these products. No amount of coloured stickers is going to make them stop doing this. They already know.
The system would also address situations where manufacturers make unsubstantiated health claims about products. This is because Traffic Light labeling can reveal at a glance the levels of the key nutrients in each food product.
How is traffic lights going to help people know whether all these super yogurts like Activia or Actimal actually do anything?
But maybe I am being to harsh on Labour maybe people really are so stupid that they have to be told what to do.
Consumers in the
UKhave become increasingly aware that green means eat plenty, amber, eat in moderation and red, means eat such products sparingly.