Oz health experts call for new labelling system on food products

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Melbourne, February 22 (ANI): Health campaigners in Australia are calling for a new system of labelling on food products to help fight rising obesity rates.

The Obesity Policy Coalition argued that "daily intake" labels could not be taken as "standard" serving size for thousands of products.

Coalition senior adviser Jane Martin said consumers could also be potentially confused or misled since the daily guide system was based on wildly differing serving sizes.

"In many cases, I think the serves underestimate what people would actually eat," The Age quoted Martin as saying.

The Coalition proposed a "traffic light" system that identifies foods in red, amber and green according to their nutritional values per 100 grams and is placed on the front of products with the three colours to illustrate low, medium and high levels of fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

However, Kate Carnell, from the Australian Food and Grocery Council, cast a shadow of doubt over the proposal, saying calculations based on 100 gram servings could also be confusing.

Carnell argued daily guide gave consumers a better idea of what they were consuming since it was based on portions, noting that it was better for information on smaller products such as chocolate bars to reflect the size of the bar and not what 100 grams of the bar would be.

An issues consultation paper on labelling will be released in early March. The final report will be completed by the end of the year and be presented at the first Council of Australian Governments meeting in 2011. (ANI)

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