Bad Awareness on Food Labelling on the Dispatches Program

Dispatches a few nights ago touched on the cereal manufacturers in Britain. This program touched on a similar topic as did the Supersize Me film in 2004.

The topic of program was regarding cereal manufacturers in Britain who refuse to accept the long proposed traffic light system for labeling the 3 essential ingredients, salt, sugar and fat.

Currently, there has to be labeling on the outside of the packaging listing the full ingredients, but a survey by the Dispatches team showed that most people on the high street when asked to decipher a standard box, the majority could not understand the information being given to them and subsequently purchased on the 'perception' of what may be conceived as healthy.

As the Daily Mail confirms also;

Revealed: The breakfast cereals saltier than crisps and with more sugar than a doughnut.

Read this to see if you would have expected the following;

Brand

Sugar per 30g bowl

Kellogg's Frosties

– 11.1g

Nestle Cookie Crisp

– 10.59g

Nestle Honey Cheerios

– 10.53g

Nestle Nesquik

– 10.5g

Sugar Puffs

– 10.5g

Kellogg's Coco Pops

– 10.2g

Kellogg's Honey Loops

– 10.2g

Why write about this on a Blackpool Hotel blog? We'll for one politics, as for many people enrages me, and where the system fails is when common sense does not prevail. There is a fine connection though in this topic in that I was interested in watching this program and comparing it to a good old fashion Blackpool hotel cooked breakfast.

Well according to the Food Standards Agency, they were asked the question and said;

Can a traditional cooked breakfast ever be a healthy choice?

Yes – If you grill lean bacon, poach the eggs and include reduced sugar / salt baked beans, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms cooked without fat, and serve it all up with thick crusty granary bread, you'll be giving your customers a delicious cooked breakfast that is also healthy and balanced.

OK we do not have stats and figures here to provide for you, but taking into account the ingredients, surely you could only agree with them?

It's not all bad though, Kellogg 's have released a very detailed press release following the airing of the Dispatches program. Some of the information listed on the site sounds convincing and all adds to a case on their defense. However one of the main points in Dispatches was the 'traffic light system' which Kellogg's answers with the following;

If labels are to help shoppers make informed choices they need to be based on what people actually eat in a serving. That's why we use GDA's, not traffic lights, which judge a food based on 100g portion.

They have NOT addressed the research of Dispatches in which they highlighted that the average consumer of these products does not either read or understand the GDA labeling, hence buying as said on 'perception'. How many parents would buy a cereal if it contained 3 red stars for fat, sugar and salt?

It's ironic really that the producers of Kellogg's Common Sense (main sponsors of the Olympics) do not seem to apply any Common Sense in helping inform parents the best choice for their children.

I suspect with a little peer pressure and more publicising Kellogg's would possibly introduce this method. However they have to be wary of turning children off their products in the process of producing real healthier options. It would be a start in trying to reduce the growing obesity problem that is plaguing this country!