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Diabetes UK calls for traffic-light food labeling system

Diabetes UK has called for a front-of-pack traffic-light labeling system for food products, in an effort to help tackle the rising tide of Type 2 diabetes. The focus was also on the importance of including carbohydrate content on all packaged foods, as the information is vital to people with diabetes.

The UK charity said it is supporting a label that includes traffic-light coding, ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ text on food products with the optional addition of percentage guideline daily amounts to be implemented on all food labels to help shoppers buy healthier options.

In its consultation response to the government, Diabetes UK has emphasized the significance of food labeling in helping people with diabetes (Type 1 and 2) manage their condition, as diets high in fat, salt and sugar increase their risk of developing serious complications.

Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said the charity wants to see labeling that uses a traffic light system together with text setting and this has been made clear in its response to the consultation.

"Independent evidence shows that the traffic-light system works better than labels which show only Guideline Daily Amounts to help shoppers make healthy choices when buying food. This is not about telling people what to eat but instead empowering them to lead healthier and happier lives," Young added.