Cancer Research UK welcomes colour-coded nutrition info

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK has reacted warmly to the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) recommendation of a new system of colour coding showing nutritional information on food packaging.

The scheme uses "traffic light" colours of red, amber and green to show whether a product contains high, medium or low levels of salt, sugar, fat and saturated fat.

The scheme would only be voluntary, however. Last month the UK's five biggest food companies launched their own system based on guideline daily amounts.

Sara Hiom, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: "Cancer Research UK welcomes any system that would help alert shoppers to foods that contain a lot of salt, sugar and fat."

"We would like to see a single, nationwide scheme for food labelling to help make healthy choices easier for consumers," she added

"We all lead busy lives, so making healthier choices when shopping needs to be quick and easy," chair of the FSA Deidre Hutton told the BBC.

"Developing a consistent way of clearly highlighting how much fat, sugar and salt a food contains will make it simpler for people to put healthy eating advice into practice when shopping."

The system is intended to be used on ready meals, pizzas, sandwiches and breakfast cereals, alongside burgers, pies, poultry, and breaded coated or formed fish and meat.

The colour coding system has been adopted by Sainsbury's and Waitrose and Asda will soon begin using the scheme.

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