Bloggers

Thank you for your interest in the in the topic of obesity and obesity prevention especially as it relates to children. 

Why the traffic light food tracker app?

We have created this page so that you can get more information on the Traffic Light Food Tracker app. 

This app is a demo of how  traffic light labels on the front of packaged food products might work.  Traffic light labels cut through food companies’ marketing spin to help you understand the true nutrition content of foods, and make informed choices. Traffic light labels provide an easy to interpret guide as to whether the levels of certain nutrients (fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt) in a product are low, medium or high. 

 Get involved

We are asking bloggers and website owners in Australia who have an interest or passion in overweight issues or in obesity prevention to get behind our campaign.  Here are just some of our suggestions for ways you can get involved. Of course please feel free to pick what's right for you, your blog and your audience.

1. Give one of the banners (below) and / or widget, a home on your website or blog for four (or more) weeks you help us spead the message about the need for reform in food labelling. Don't worry if you only can give the banner /widget a home for a week or two. Every little bit helps. We believe that together we can make a change in the area of food labelling.

2.  Write a post about why you are concerned about the issue of food labelling, obesity, food marketing to children or even your struggles with weight loss. Perhaps you might even want to enter the nutritional information of yours or your kid's favourite breakfast cereal or museli bar and see what traffic light you get?  You might get all red traffic lights? How did this make you feel? Were you surprised? Share your views to your readers and maybe inspire them to share the results of their favourite foods. This is just one idea for a post.

Get your banner below. 

Background 

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) are calling for a mandatory traffic light labelling scheme  to enable consumers to make informed and healthier food choices.

Currently there are few rules about the words, symbols and images that can be displayed  on the front of food packaging, allowing food manufacturers to confuse and in some cases mislead consumers about the nutrition content and healthiness of foods.

For example positive nutrients are often highlighted  ("High in Fibre", "20% of your daily whole grain target") while other nutrients that make the product unhealthy overall are not disclosed (such as high levels of saturated fat or sugar).

Often we see images of fruit are displayed to create the impression that a product is healthy,  when in fact it may only contain a small amount of fruit,  fruit flavours or concentrate, and have little or no health benefit.

We believe consumers should not be faced with a smokescreen of claims, symbols and images when making food choices at their local supermarket. Instead, they should be provided with nutrition information that is easy to understand at a glance and that can assist them to identify and compare healthy and unhealthy foods. This is where Traffic Light Labelling comes in.

Mandatory front-of-pack labelling scheme would use traffic light colours (green, orange or red) to indicate whether the levels of nutrients in a product (fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt) are low, medium or high. We are also advocating for traffic light labels to be required on menus in fast food outlets, in cafeterias and shops in public institutions, such as hospitals and schools, and on the front of vending machines.

There is evidence that traffic light labels:

Are easier to use and are less confusing than schemes, such as the percentage daily intake scheme, which do not provide any interpretive guidance about the healthiness of products;

  • Enable all consumers (including consumers from lower socio-economic and culturally/linguistically diverse groups) to quickly understand nutrition information, interpret it and make healthier food choices;
  • Help overcome any misleading impressions created by food labels that display unofficial ticks or symbols, or highlight positive nutrients while failing to disclose other nutrients that make a product unhealthy overall;
  • May encourage food manufacturers to reformulate the nutritional composition of their food to improve traffic light ratings.

In fact recent Cancer Council Victoria research indicates that 87% of Australian consumers are in favour of traffic light labelling on food packaging. 

For more information about the OPC's position on food labelling reform, please refer to the OPC's policy brief on traffic light labelling.

 Obesity and children

In Australia, rates of overweight and obesity have increased at an alarming rate in all age groups, Overweight and obesity among adults and children is something we are particularly concerned about especially given the health implication it has for Australia's younger generation.

Read the policy document on the OPC's position on overweight and obesity in children. 

 

Get the banner and or widget 

 
 
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Who we are

The Obesity Policy Coalition is is a coalition between the Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Australia – Victoria, VicHealth and the WHO Collaborating Centre on Obesity Prevention at Deakin University.

More information

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