A New Nutrition Traffic Light System That Could Actually Work

The Lempert Report
August 28, 2017

For years, on package nutrition traffic light systems like those that appear on foods and beverages in Europe have been debated and debated.

Here in the US systems like NuVal and Guiding Stars have proven effective and help shoppers decide what products are best suited for their dietary needs. 

Now comes a new twist. A new concept, dreamed up by designer Hayden Peek and Birmingham University health expert Dr Matthew Cole, who says the current system traffic light system in the UK is confusing and doesn't give a broader picture. So what they propose is putting the red, amber and green 'traffic-lights' system on the cash register receipt to rank the contents of the entire shopping cart. 

The results, which would rate calories, sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt would then appear on the receipt. 

Dr Cole told The Mirror that "A till receipt summary gives a much better representation of what a person eats over a period of time. This isn’t really about one shop – it’s about looking at your dietary trends over time." He goes on to report that Brits eat over 121 different ingredients EVERY DAY - but they believe they actually consume about a third of that. 

When seven supermarkets were approached by The Mail on Sunday  Sainsbury's responded to say it was always exploring new ways to get customers to make healthier choices. 

Fortunately here in the US practically every supermarket has programs in place led by registered dietitians to combat that problem. Take a look at what is taking place at retaildietitians.com.