French supermarkets to test colour-coded ‘nutrition logos’

French supermarkets to test colour-coded 'nutrition logos'
Photo: AFP
Four logos are going to be added to selected products in French supermarkets in a bid to see if they'll make customers eat healthier.
Usually you're told to read the small print, but soon it might not be necessary – at least if we're talking about the list of ingredients on the back of supermarket items. 
The new idea, revealed by France's health minister on Tuesday, is simple:
Four colours, four different levels of nutrition. These labels get added to over 800 products in 50 supermarkets across France.
“My goal is to get everyone to evaluate what they're buying with a simple glance,” Health Minster Marisol Touraine told Le Parisien newspaper.
Researchers will monitor people's buying habits, then compare them with those of shoppers in other supermarkets that don't have the nutritional labels on their products.
“Obviously this isn't about comparing a tub of yoghurt with a pizza – it's about making a choice between two different yoghurts or two pizzas,” Touraine said. 
She added that the move was part of a larger fight to get France healthy, not least considering that a third of French people were overweight and that the number of diabetics was on the rise.
The experiment will begin in September and run for three months. If successful, Touraine aims to roll the new colour-coding system out across France next year. 
France saw a raft of controversial health reforms last year, part of which saw a crackdown on obesity. It included the banning of unlimited refills of soft drinks and harsher penalties for binge drinkers.  
Photo: Tobyotter/Flickr

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