Study In Obesity Claims Traffic Light Food Labeling May Help

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Study In Obesity Claims Traffic Light Food Labeling May Help

Food labeling is a topic of debate not only in the U.S., but Europe and other international markets as well. Recently, a study published in the journal Obesity indicated that traffic light nutrition labels may help buyers when it comes to exercising control over foods that are high calorie or contain high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, salt, etc. The traffic light nutrition labels provide green, red, and yellow colors on the front of the packaging, clearly indicating to consumers whether the product is healthier than other choices. Participants in the study were questioned regarding how much they would pay for a product containing only nutrition labeling, versus a product displaying a green traffic light label. The study concluded that participants would pay more for products with a green traffic light compared to similar products with none, and less for products with a red traffic light than similar products with nutrition labels only. While the labeling system seems like a good idea to some, others in the European food industry are fighting the traffic light nutrition labels, claiming it could fragment the EU internal market. In fact, proceedings against the UK traffic light system have been opened by the European Commission. Participants had their brain activity studied in the process so that those conducting the study could assess which areas of the brain were active depending on the color of the traffic light labels. Green labels clearly won out, as the area of the brain linked to reward expectation such as a product being healthy or beneficial to health was active when participants studied the green traffic labels on products, according to the authors. Will the traffic light food labeling system make a go in the European market? Time will tell. At Markem-Imaje, our industrial printing solutions include small character inkjet printers, thermal and laser printers, and more. For indelible printing of nutrition labels and ingredient lists, barcodes, best-by dates and more, count on Markem-Imaje, the leaders in the industry.

January 10, 2014
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