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Can Traffic-Light Colored Nutrition Information Make Brits Healthier?

Can Traffic-Light Colored Nutrition Information Make Brits Healthier?
Traffic Lights, eyecmore via Flickr

Nutrition labels, even when packed with information on how unhealthy a certain food is, usually don’t even get glanced at, let alone stop consumers from purchasing the harmful food within. In the United Kingdom, the Department of Health has created a new system that they hope will prove more effective by eliminating confusion.

It’s simple really, and takes its inspiration from a symbol everyone gets: traffic signs. Fat, saturated fat, salt, and sugar will all show up in the label, highlighted in either red, orange, or green to indicate whether or not that food is high, medium, or low in fat, for example.


According to the Department of Health, major food companies like Mars, Nestlé, and PepsiCo are all on board with the new system (and apparently, some food companies already use a label like this one to render nutritional information). “Research shows that, of all the current schemes, people like this label the most and they can use the information to make healthier choices,” Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said in a statement.

The new label will also show up on the front of the pack of food, making it easier for consumers to ascertain, at a glance and without necessarily reading but just by comparing colors, which packaged food is healthier.

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