The traffic-light system – a postage-stamp sized sticker that used a colour code to denote the percentage of a person’s recommended daily allowance contained in each product – red for high, amber for medium and green for low.
In the crucial 15 seconds a consumer takes to decide on a supermarket purchase, the labelling is often the deciding factor.
It means being able to know – at a glance – what goes in to what we eat. But for the food industry, it means being told what they must put on their packaging.
“In the absence of a single, clear, simple labelling system, consumers really are at the mercy of the marketing department,” an expert said.
“We know [people] can be convinced by being told that a product is one of their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but they’re also having their entire daily allowance of sugar, or of salt, or sometimes of saturated fat.”
Traffic-light labelling also tended to make foods healthier, the expert added, as companies tried to avoid having too many red traffic lights.
“Part of the process is saying, ‘What kind of traffic light do I want to put on the front of this product, and how hard am I going to have to work to make sure I turn a red to amber, or turn an amber to green?’”
But the majority of food companies in Britain still prefer the GDA system. And in the absence of regulation, there is little motivation to change.
Meet Mr. Divabetic on the red carpet at the American Diabetes Association Expo in Pittsburgh, PA and New York, NY and the Taking Control Of Your Diabetes Conference in Austin, TX in Fall 2012. For more glitter, games and glucose advice visit: http://www.divabetic.org
LISTEN NOW: Free Diabetes Podcast Inspired by Katy Perry http://www.blogtalkradio.com/divatalkradio1/2012/07/10/diabetes-roundtable-inspired-by-katy-perry