Traffic Light Food Labelling

30 Nov 2011

On a daily basis, medical professionals throughout Australia care for patients with chronic health conditions that could have been prevented through appropriate nutrition and healthy eating behaviours. Rates of obesity continue to rise throughout Australia, which now has the fifth highest rate of obesity among OECD countries.

The food people consume is a major factor in obesity. Doctors are very aware of how difficult it is for families to find the appropriate information they need to make healthier food choices, especially in the busy routines of daily life. It needs to be easier for people to find the information to make healthier choices about what they eat. The nutrition information on packaged food labels should be a good source of this information, but the current system of food labelling in Australia fails the test and needs to be changed.

The AMA believes it is time to improve food choices and tackle obesity with the introduction of a Traffic Light system of front-of-pack labelling. This AMA publication –  Traffic Light Labelling: making healthy food choices easier for Australians – outlines the case for this important measure.