Calorie labelling is welcome, but it won’t solve the obesity crisis

Compulsory labels can’t alone turn the tide, says RCN’s Helen Donovan

Compulsory labels can’t alone turn the tide, says RCN's Helen Donovan

What we eat is both central to our health and well-being and very much part of our social culture. But the amount and types of food we consume are contributing to an obesity epidemic in the UK, which has serious consequences for us, our children and our communities.

So how can we counter this?

Traffic light system

The voluntary traffic light labelling system on food that we buy in supermarkets and shops, introduced by the government in 2013, has had some positive effects. The system uses red, amber and green labels to show whether levels of fat, sugar and salt are high, medium or low, based on the amount per 100g. Sometimes information about calorie levels is also included.

But because such food labelling is voluntary under


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