Processed Food: Labelling

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered am ar 21 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Charlotte Nichols Charlotte Nichols Llafur, Warrington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will take steps to help ensure that ultra-processed foods are easily identifiable to consumers.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Nutrition labelling helps to support consumers in making informed choices about their food and non-alcoholic drinks by providing information on the nutrient content of products. Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling is intended to support healthier choices by communicating complex nutritional information via colour coding, in a way that is easy and quick to understand.

While there is no universally agreed definition of ultra-processed foods, NOVA is the most widely used classification system. NOVA categorises foods by how much processing they have been through rather than their nutritional composition. There are considerable uncertainties about whether these foods are unhealthy due to processing, or because a large majority of processed foods are high in sugar, calories, saturated fat, and salt.

The Government’s dietary advice, as depicted within the Eatwell Guide, already shows that many foods that would be classified as ultra-processed are not part of a healthy, balanced diet, as they are high in sugar, calories, saturated fat, and salt. The Government’s advice on healthy eating, including the Eatwell Guide principles, is communicated through the NHS.UK website and Government social marketing campaigns such as Better Health, Healthier Families and Start for Life. Further information on the Eatwell Guide is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-eatwell-guide

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