Submit your email address below to receive email updates from Cumbria24.
Cumbria’s public health experts are backing changes to food labelling which would make it easer for people to monitor the amount of salt, sugar and fat they eat. A national consultation aimed at making labelling simpler ends on 6 August and the county’s public health team has used the exercise to call for a standard red, amber and green ‘traffic-light’ guide to nutrition.
Many supermarkets and food manufacturers currently have their own systems, ranging from traffic lights to pie charts and percentages of daily guideline amounts which can leave shoppers confused.
The estimated cost to the NHS in Cumbria from diseases related to unhealthy weight is around £150m each year.
Clearer food-labelling is regarded by health experts as a critical component in the fight against obesity.
Cumbria’s associate director of public health, Jane Muller, said: “Research shows that shoppers want a simple red, amber and green guide to the food they are buying.
“The current system is confusing and inconsistent, depending on where you shop and what you buy.
“A standard ‘traffic-light’ system would help people to identify at a glance how much salt, sugar and fat they are putting in their shopping trolley.
"If we carry on living as we are, 9 out of 10 children are set to grow up with dangerous levels of fat in their bodies.
"This can cause life-threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
“Clear labelling is a key component in reducing Cumbria’s waist-line and helping more people to live longer and healthier in the future.”
People wishing to take part in the consultation can do so via the Department of Health website at consultations.dh.gov.uk/fight against