Action on Sugar accuses food companies of avoiding clear food labelling

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 08 Aug 2017
Action on Sugar accuses food companies of avoiding clear food labelling
Some food companies have been labelled 'scandalous' for continuing to avoid transparency in the amount of sugar in their products.

Health expert group Action on Sugar has carried out research on 25 leading breakfast cereals and found many which are perceived as healthy alternatives are actually loaded with sugar.

Following a truly healthy lifestyle is an important part of preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes, and Action on Sugar is concerned many food manufacturers are deliberately deceiving shoppers.

The group says this is because they are failing to label their products using the Department of Health's recommended colour-coding approach, which is based on the simple traffic-light system.

Eat Natural, Lizi's, Nature's Path, Paleo Foods Co., Rude Health and Dorset Cereals are among the companies that do not print any nutrition labelling on the front of their packets at all, Action on Sugar said, noting some of their products contain high levels of sugar.

The research was carried out with the help of an app called FoodSwitch UK, which provides the user with information about how much sugar, salt and fat is contained in each food item.

Katharine Jenner, who is the campaign director of Action on Sugar and FoodSwitch UK, said: "It's scandalous that certain food manufacturers are still refusing to be transparent when it comes to front of pack nutrition labelling. If there is no front of pack label with one brand, shoppers should assume they are hiding something - so buy another brand instead."

The survey showed Bear, Jordans, Kellogg's and Nestle do use front of pack labelling, but without the colour-coded system it can be difficult for consumers to fully understand what they are buying.

It is thought that by introducing clearer nutritional content to all cereal packaging, 45 teaspoons of sugar could be reduced every month. It is because of this that Action on Sugar is urging all companies to be consistent with their food labelling so people know exactly what it is they are buying.

Benedict Jephcote, Editor of Diabetes.co.uk, said: "The call by Action of Sugar makes a strong point about the call to help the consumer be aware of how much sugar is in food.

"Unfortunately, the traffic light system is itself far from perfect as it demonises the perfectly healthy saturated fats found in foods such as full fat yoghurt, nuts and avocado."

For more information on eating healthily and how much sugar is found in food, visit the Low Carb Program.
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