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Food Labelling - Specifically label sizes /nutritional info

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by plutoniumcard, May 23, 2016.

  1. plutoniumcard

    plutoniumcard Type 2 · Active Member

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    Good Morning

    As a newbie to type 2 I am now taking a keener interest in the nutritional information on food packaging. Whilst there seem to be moves to improve the traffic light system, I have a couple of issues which I think are not being addressed, and would be keen to try and get improvements:

    a. Most of the foods on the larger "summary" mention fats (and of which are saturated), proteins, salts and sugars. I think that this does the growing proportion of the population with diabetes a dis-service; I believe Carbs should be included, particularly as the sugars often show up as low, but the carbs are high.

    b. The main nutritional labels can be almost impossible to read as on even on some large sized packaging some manufacturers appear not to devote sufficient packaging space. I appreciate it can be more difficult on very small product, but even with good eye sight the quality of small fonts make the information unreadable.


    My questions are -

    1. Is this just an issue for me and should I just grin and bear it?

    2. More people have smart phones - is there an App that can read quickly read (all preferably!) bar codes and give an instant carb / sugar amount.

    3. Who should be lobbied to get the improvements made? My thoughts are Food Standards Agency, NHS and Industry.

    As an aside.....I now shop for most food online as the nutritional information is easier to read, and I am less prone to temptation!

    Cheers

    Tony
     
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  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    The traffic light system I'm guessing will follow something akin to NICE guidelines so carbs are not considered bad per se so wouldn't be worth a mention (incorrectly in my opinion too). You need to get the NICE advice to change I would imagine.. give it another 10 years. Until then I'm afraid you'll need to get magnifying glass to read the labels.. or someone like my hubby who reads it to me (he's got much better eyesight for reading). I don't know of an app but I'm sure if there is one someone will let you know. Shopping online to avoid temptation sounds like a good idea.
     
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  3. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    I have always ignored the traffic light system, preferring to decide for myself from the breakdown of nutrients, usually on the back of the packaging.

    Sadly, even when it comes to the simple things, one man's low is another's sky-high.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/1499/contents/made
     
  5. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I shop at the co-op, somebody has to. LOL The most processed food I eat is tinned ratatouille and there is always a panel of nutrients on the packet or tin in this case. I personally ignore the traffic light scheme purely because it's somebody's opinion of whether it's good, bad or indifferent, I like to see the numbers and I can make my own mind up.
     
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  6. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    I also never go by the traffic light system but always the nutritional information where every thing is listed especially carbs in grams if it's not got that I don't buy it.
     
  7. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    I'd like carbs included on the big panel on the front too. Yes, I can look on the table on the back, but it's annoying when you're, say, trying to choose a sandwich and the calories and fat, etc are right there on the front but you have to keep turning each one over and scrutinising the back to find the carbs.

    It also annoys me when values are only given per 100g not per portion.

    Edited to add that I'm Type 1 and so need the carbs to work out my insulin.
     
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  8. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    Yes that is annoying it means having to note what the pack weighs in grams and then multiplying up for the carbs content why can't they just give the total carbs for the pack.
     
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  9. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    I try not to eat too much packaged food, but when I do I rely on the more detailed nutritional information which does contain cabohydrate content. I've never bothered with those traffic light thingies. :wideyed:

    If you have difficulty (like me) reading small print, then it's easy enough to look on line - supermarkets often list this information with their products on their websites, and it means you can select suitable foods in comfort before you shop.

    Robbity
     
  10. tomfalc

    tomfalc Type 1 · Member

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    I suggested just such an app to my company. I'd love to be able to show this thread as additional justification but I'm not sure if that breaches the forum's rules, or that it would make a difference. You'd really need to persuade the manufacturers to link the product bar code to a web page with a more detailed breakdown in an easier to read format.
     
  11. DR_Hornet

    DR_Hornet Type 1 · Member

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    I use an app called myfitnesspal. You can scan any barcode in the world and it seems to have the info on there. Also you can type in what you are eating and it tells you the carbs (you tell it the weight). If you load the information to one meal (I.e lunch) and turn the phone to the side it totals the carbs for that meal. I could live without it.
     
  12. ricardian

    ricardian Type 2 · Newbie

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    The traffic light system is of no use to me - I'm colour blind!
     
  13. Alison_Murray

    Alison_Murray Type 1 · Newbie

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    I am in complete agreement and also wanf to lobby for change.
    How is the carb not on the front. If is crazy that dieters who count calories have it on the front and I as a type 2 diabetic who has been carb counting for 30 years still have to work the portion out. I have even bought food that contains carb from m&s that did not contain any carb info.
    I am also visually impaired due to diabetes which makes reading the labels even worse.
     
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  14. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely right. Carb content should be prominently displayed to make choices easier for us.

    Sent from my LG-D620 using DCUK Forum mobile app
     
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