UK health ministers want to see all food manufacturers and retailers use consistent messages on the front of packaging, to show how much fat, salt, sugar and energy is in their products.
Around 80% of food products sold in the UK display some form of front-of-pack labelling. However, different ways of labelling are used by different retailers and manufacturers, which can be confusing for consumers.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“I’m keen to work with my colleagues across the UK to help people make healthy choices. A single labelling system, used across all products, would help consumers compare the nutritional information on the food that they buy.
“Responses from Wales will help to shape the discussion about how to create a consistent food labelling system across the UK.
“The Welsh Government is committed to improving the health of people in Wales and encouraging healthy lifestyles, and this consultation will play a part in supporting a range of initiatives we have underway.”
Consistent food labelling would support several Welsh Government initiatives, including the MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition….Do it!) programme, which is a healthy lifestyle programme for children who are above a healthy weight. Children are taken on supermarket tours to help them to understand food labelling and make healthier choices.
The Dietetic Capacity Training Scheme supports dieticians to train and develop community workers, peer educators and volunteers working within communities to encourage healthy eating.
Change4Life Wales is the Government’s campaign to improve the lives of families. The campaign promotes sugar swaps; swapping food and drink with added sugar for alternatives that are lower in sugar or sugar free. It also provides portion advice and recommends ‘me-sized’ meals for children and adults.