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Breakfast Cereals Up Front – Debating the Issue of Food Labelling

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  1. Breakfast Cereals Up Front –Debating the Issue of Food Labelling Presented by Tom Sanders Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics Head of the Research Division of Nutritional Sciences, Kings College London BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  2. Why is the scheme being introduced • Government scheme to improve the overall balance of the national diet • Major targets are reductions in the intake of fat, saturated fatty acids, salt and sugar • High intakes of salt and saturated fatty acids are linked to the development of cardiovascular disease • High and frequent intakes of sugar contribute to dental caries BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  3. FSA Consultation on Front of Pack Labelling MTL CGDA BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  4. What are the differences between the options being proposed?Multiple Traffic Lights • Cut offs are based on the amounts of nutrients per 100g food • All foods use the same cut-offs BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  5. Cut-offs for multiple traffic lights BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  6. Where the portion provides more than the amounts below then the food should be labelled high Based on 30% guideline dietary amount BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  7. Coloured Guideline Dietary Amounts • Based on the amounts a serving provides in relation to the Guideline Dietary Amount • GDA for sugar is provisional BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  8. Proposed application BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  9. WHICH QUICHE IS HEALTHIER? A Quiche B Reduced fat quiche BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  10. WHICH CHEDDAR IS HEALTHIER? A Cheddar B Reduced fat cheddar BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  11. Multiple Traffic Lights CGDA Slice of toast, butter and marmalade BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  12. How do the schemes compare with breakfast cereals BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  13. Conclusions regarding the comparisons between MTL and CGDA • MTL unfairly mis-classify breakfast cereals with many being indicated as high in fat, salt and sugar • CGDA show breakfast cereals mainly in the low or medium category with none in the high category BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  14. What’s wrong with MTL • It does not take into account how much of a food is consumed (except where large amounts are consumed) • It does not take into account the varying amounts of water in food and so penalises dry foods such as cereals BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  15. The Times 28th February BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  16. What’s missing • Energy content per portion • Recommended portion size BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  17. Super Bowls: Serving Bowl Size and Food Consumption BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  18. Average portion 31g BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  19. Energy content of breakfast cereals • A typical serving (30-45g) of breakfast cereal (excluding milk provides) about 190 kcal (range 160-230 kcal) • Breakfast cereals served with semi-skimmed milk are low energy meals that provide about a fifth of the micronutrient requirements of children BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  20. Reductions in salt levels in breakfast cereals • Members of the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers (ACFM) have achieved a 33% reduction in salt from 1998 to 2005. • On average contain less than 0.4g of sodium per 100g (1g salt/100g). • Portion sizes vary from ~30g to ~50g depending on the type of cereal • Breakfast cereals are not a significant source of salt in the UK diet as they typically provide 0.3-0.5g salt per day compared with an average UK intake of 9-11g/d BCIS Breakfast Briefing

  21. Summary • Traffic lights don’t help consumers build a balanced diet, are based on unrealistic 100g portions and don’t facilitate choice • GDAs help people understand what they should be aiming for and how products build towards that (and consumers like them) • Cereals are the lowest calorie, most nutrient dense breakfast choice in the UK and should be encouraged BCIS Breakfast Briefing