Gransnet forums

Front of pack, nutritional traffic light labels: what do you think?

(21 Posts)
MEDIA: TomGransnet Wed 31-Jan-18 17:13:28

Are you concerned about your health? Do you look at the traffic light nutrition label on food items in the supermarket?

If so, then please help the team at the University of Nottingham's School of Biosciences by completing this anonymous 5 minute survey:

Thank you.

janeainsworth Wed 31-Jan-18 17:37:10

But I think you should bear in mind that it’s quite possible to be concerned about your health and make health -conscious food-buying decisions without using the traffic light system which is based on government guidelines.
I’m very careful about how much free sugars I consume, but I don’t buy the government’s low-fat message, for example.

Bathsheba Wed 31-Jan-18 18:35:32

Done. And I agree with janea's comments smile

Caledonai14 Mon 26-Feb-18 07:28:36

Also done and I agree about health decisions, though I might pay more attention to the guidelines if I were a parent foodshopping for children.

BlueBelle Mon 26-Feb-18 08:00:17

I agree, but hold my hands up to say I rarely have time to look at labels when doing the shopping I don’t imagine busy parents would have more time than me So they need to be very prominent
More important is high schools that still have sugar laden snack and drink machines, important to work on getting them out of schools and hospitals as well

Teetime Mon 26-Feb-18 08:55:46


Auntieflo Mon 26-Feb-18 09:15:11

Done, but found the sliding scale for answers awkward to get to where I wanted it to go.

OldMeg Mon 26-Feb-18 11:40:51

Yes, I think it’s time the government had another look at the low-fat question.

NonnaW Mon 26-Feb-18 12:20:16


Baggs Mon 26-Feb-18 13:15:07

I have never looked at a traffic light food label. If I want to know what's in a product I read the list of ingredients and make my own judgment about the food 'quality'.

The government through its health agencies has been giving so-called healthy food advice for quite some time now and it has not done an iota of good. I think the reasons for this are probably complex but there is one very simple explanation for why there are so many overweight and obese people: there is simply more readily available, easy to eat, no-effort-required food available than ever before in human history. Genetically and metabolically we are ill-adapted to cope with this. As usual the answer is and will be adapt or die (or be ill with weight-related diseases). Which, unsurprisingly, is exactly what's happening.

Nonnie Mon 26-Feb-18 14:46:30

I think that education would be more effective than traffic lights on packets. As we usually buy fresh food and not ready prepared it doesn't apply to much of what we buy.

M0nica Mon 26-Feb-18 18:33:04

I am in the same position as you Nonnie. Today I have opened tins of tomato paste, lentils, and ratatouille and a packet of spaghetti. Everything else was fresh fruit and vegetables and meat. It never occurred to me to look at the nutritional information on any of the food packets and tins.

Frankly I think the constant hectoring advice coming from government is totally counterproductive, their constant banging on about what we should eat and miserable attitudes is enough to encourage people to eat fast food just to cock a snook at them.

I have seen two reports recently. One monitored healthy eating campaigns in school and found they had no effect on children's eating patterns.

The other was about those living to an advanced age in good health. They claimed never to take Exercise of the government hectoring type, but enjoyed walking, swimming, gardening etc etc.

MiceElf Tue 27-Feb-18 06:02:00

‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants’ has always seemed to me to be the most sensible advice.
That is, cook it yourself, sensible portions, sensible choices.

M0nica Tue 27-Feb-18 06:47:26

...and Michael Pollen's corollary to that was 'if it is made from a plant eat it, if it was made in a plant don't' (works better in American English than English) would mean that traffic lights or any of the other burble on processed food packaging would be irrelevant.

suzied Tue 27-Feb-18 07:43:12

Maybe if we consumed fewer processed foods - I read that the U.K. diet consists of over 50% processed foods compared with 13% in countries like France and Italy , this sort of labelling wouldn’t be necessary. My rule is if a product has more than 3 ingredients on a packet I won’t buy it.

PamelaJ1 Tue 27-Feb-18 09:58:27

I think that I have a fairly good idea what is good or bad for me. We mostly cook our food from fresh products and we seem to be fit and healthy and not overweight.
However I, like many of you, was brought up in an age when that is what we did so it’s hard wired in.
Remember domestic science, we had to divide our food into carbs etc. And make sure it was colourful. Not much difference to the advice we are given today.

Squiffy Tue 27-Feb-18 12:28:54

I agree with Baggs If I want to know what's in a product I read the list of ingredients and make my own judgment about the food quality

The information that the Government, or any other 'learned' body tells us, is constantly changing and contradictory . It is now being said that lard is good for us. A while ago, it was the worst fat on the planet!!

M0nica Tue 27-Feb-18 14:24:55

Well, it is at the moment. That opinion will probably change soon.

Baggs Tue 27-Feb-18 16:06:09

Lard is an ancient food (ingredient). Ancientness is a good indicator of food value, I reckon.

Not the ancientness of a particular block of lard! grin

Squiffy Tue 27-Feb-18 17:33:31

Exactly MOnica! grin

Ancient is alive and well in my kitchen Baggs! Bah humbug to sell by / use by dates (within reason!)!

Cherrytree59 Tue 27-Feb-18 18:29:24

Baggs my 93 year old MIL Cooked chips in lard
Fried everything in lard
Made pastry in lard.
Also boiled the life out of cabbage!
I don't use her cooking methods or follow her diet but I have to say that although she has latterly suffered from age related dementia she is otherwise in fine fettle with most of her own teeth