Advancements in Food Labelling Within the EU
‘EU citizens are increasingly overweight or obese  and therefore more prone to heart disease and diabetes. Part of the problem has to do with our diets. Yet spotting the healthier yoghurt, cereals or ready meal in the supermarket is no easy task. Given that people make their purchasing decisions in a matter of seconds, they need to be able to glean key nutritional information at-a-glance’.
‘thresholds of nutrients such as fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar above which nutrition claims are restricted and health claims are prohibited, thus preventing a positive health message on food high in these nutrients’ .
‘The original intention of setting nutrient profiles is to prevent claims being misleadingly used with foods which are high in nutrients of concern such as sugar, salt, and fat. Consumers should no longer be misled by claims which disguise sugar-laden snacks or yogurts as healthy options. That is why BEUC strongly supports the urgent setting of nutrient profiles for the use of nutrition and health claims for food products. We welcome the EU Commission’s commitment to finally setting ‘nutrient profiles’, as announced in its Farm to Fork strategy in May 2020. Nevertheless, with such profiles more than ten years overdue, it is regrettable that no proposal will see the light of the day until the end of 2022’.
There is still a debate within the EU on what these labels should look like. Italian health authorities created the NutriInform Battery Label, which focuses on five components: calories, fat, saturated fats, sugar, and salt. Rather than offering a score, the Battery Label lists the quantity of each component and calculates the percentage of the daily recommended value provided by the food. In July 2020, the UK government unveiled a new obesity strategy. Some of the measures include a consultation on front of pack nutritional labelling to see how it compares to international examples and a consultation on alcohol calorie labelling, as the majority of the public is unaware of the calorie content of common drinks . There will be also a new legislation making calorie labelling on menus for food and drinks in cafes, restaurants, bars and takeaways compulsory for all business with more than 250 employees . Is there more that our governments should be doing to protect us, as consumers, through labelling regulations?‘research  conducted in several countries shows Nutri-Score is currently the best-performing scheme in both aiding consumers to compare the nutritional quality of foods across a range of products and to make healthier purchasing choices in the supermarket. That’s why we have been asking the EU Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal to make Nutri-Score mandatory EU-wide.
Understanding Food Labels
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