Thank you for your interest in the in the topic of obesity and obesity prevention especially as it relates to children.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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
For more information about the OPC's position on food labelling reform, please refer to the OPC's policy brief on traffic light labelling.
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.