If you’re like me – you DREAD shopping day.
Not for the inconvenience or the boredom of having to lug your trolley up and down the aisles – but for the sheer confusion when it comes to making a product choice and being bombarded with numbers and percentage signs on the front of packs that, if we’re actually honest, most of us have little hope of really understanding. If only for lack of time.
Across Australia, however, this could all be about to change.
Last week, intergovernmental support was offered for a voluntary new national front-of-pack food labelling scheme.
The scheme features a rating from half a star up to five stars, and includes detailed information about the sugar, fat, energy and salt content of all packaged, processed and manufactured food products – measured per 100g.
You may also see a positive nutrient rating on the front of some packs too – for example showing the product is ‘high in fibre’ or ‘high in calcium’ – with the amount of that positive nutrient included in the product measured per 100g.
While the system is currently voluntary, a requirement is in place to see the scheme become mandatory in two years if the food industry is slow to comply.
So how will this change your shop?
The star ratings are far easier to read than the current Daily Intake Guide on the front of food labels. This, coupled with the nutritional content being based on per 100g measurements, makes it far easier to compare different products and make an informed choice on the go!
While it might seem like a small adjustment – this step has the power to change the health of Queensland families.
We at Cancer Council Queensland hope this initiative, and others like it, will play a part in reducing obesity rates across the state. Currently, 1 in 3 adults are overweight and 1 in 4 obese. High body mass is the leading cause of premature death and disability in Queensland – fast tracking our risk of preventable cancers.
Australians have long wanted a simple nutrition labelling system to help them make healthy choices more efficiently. CCQ offers five stars for this progress on food labels for Queensland families!
At the least, it should make even the dreariest shopping trip a little more pleasant.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.