Food labellingThe government is urging all supermarkets and food companies to adopt a new food labelling system, which would make it easier for consumers to know what they are eating in line with guideline daily amounts (GDAs).

The traffic light system being adopted has already proved popular as it allows consumers to know the dietary levels of foods at a glance. It will now be on the front of packs and be consistent, ensuring consumers know where to look and what to look for when purchasing food. The system provides data on how much fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories are in the food.

However, the food labelling system is voluntary. It currently has a 60 per cent take up of users, including major supermarkets such as Tesco and Waitrose and large companies including Nestle and Pepsico.

Announcing the new system, public health minister Anna Soubry said: “By having all the major retailers and manufacturers signed up to the consistent label, we will all be able to see at a glance what is in our food - this is why I want to see more manufacturers signing up and using the label.”

Siân Burton, Honorary Chairman of the British Dietetic Association, said: “The British Dietetic Association wants consumers to have access to clear, consistent, at glance information to help them to make informed choices about the food they buy and eat. Consumers need a quick understanding of the relative healthiness of a product. We welcome today’s development by the government about front of pack labelling. This is a significant step forward.”