Sir; I write in response to the government’s recommendations in its White Paper on Health (‘DOH: you act - or we will’, The Grocer, November 20, p4-5).
There is no question but that food should be clearly and accurately labelled with nutritional information in a form that can be used and understood by the consumer.
However, I do not believe signposting is the answer, because it does not tell you how to compose a healthy diet from sensible portions of a range of foods that give the necessary balance of essential nutrients.
This can only be achieved through better education at an early age.
It is also necessary for the consumer to be motivated and encouraged to follow a healthy diet. There is nothing in the White Paper about education or motivation.
Most people already know that certain foods are high in fat, salt and sugar, but they don’t know how to avoid ingesting too much of these. We could end up wasting valuable time developing a signposting system instead of tackling the problem at its root.
Some foods, particularly own label, already have extremely helpful labelling in the form of nutrients per portion.
If consumers could be motivated to read such information to help them to stay within recommended daily intakes, I believe this could be far more effective than any amount of signposting that the White Paper advocates.