Junk food “should get cigarette-style health warnings”: Highly processed meals loaded with sugar, fat and salt must have warnings, researchers say
- Researchers say junk food should contain cigarette style health warnings
- The new study published says ultra-processed foods are the “new tobacco”.
- Traffic light labels for food in the UK are voluntary and contain only a few numbers
Junk food should have cigarette-style health warnings on its packaging to help combat obesity, experts said.
Researchers argued that the public is being “bamboozed” by the clever marketing tactics of companies making popular ultra-processed foods containing sugar, fat, and salt.
They said foods that “our grandparents didn’t recognize,” like cakes, carbonated drinks and frozen pizzas, should be labeled with clear health warnings.
Junk food should have cigarette-style health warnings on packaging to fight obesity, experts said (file photo used)
The messages would alert us to the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and premature death from improper diet.
It is mandatory that cigarette packs contain text and picture health warnings such as: B. a picture of a cancerous lung.
Currently, traffic light labels for food are voluntary in the UK and only highlight numbers for fat, sugar, salt and calories.
A study published yesterday in BMJ Global Health said that ultra-processed foods are the “new tobacco” and called for stricter rules for their packaging.
Last year ministers put in place an obesity strategy that included a television ban on junk food advertisements before 9 p.m. (pictured in a file photo).
A box of biscuits, for example, would have a warning text that indicates that the snacks are highly processed and high in salt, sugar or fat.
The researchers added that such foods are “associated with positive emotions” because of “decades of persuasive marketing”.
Lead author Trish Cotter of New York Public Health Charity Vital Strategies said, “The industrial processing, as well as the cocktail of additives, flavors, emulsifiers, and colors that they contain to add flavor and texture, make the end product extremely palatable. … and potentially addicting, which in turn leads to bad eating habits. ‘
A sugar tax on soft drinks introduced in 2018 led companies to reformulate recipes, which in turn resulted in lower sugar consumption (file photo used)
Miss Cotter said these products put us at a “higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression and death.”
She defined ultra-processed products as those that are ready-to-eat, contain more than five ingredients, and have a long shelf life.
The average Brit gets almost half of their calories from these foods, which is contributing to a rapid rise in obesity.
Do you fancy chocolate? Switch on the light
If you dip into the Quality Street can too often this Christmas, try turning the lights on.
Sweet and salty foods taste better in dimmed lights, as a study with more than 300 people found.
It could explain why popcorn and candy are so tasty in the movies. Researchers at Mercer University in Georgia in the US asked participants to eat a piece of milk chocolate, about half of whom wore tinted sunglasses to mimic a dark room. Those who wore glasses rated it higher.
Cookies, chips, and cheese all had similar results. The study, published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, concluded that poor eyesight can improve our sense of taste and smell.
Last year ministers put in place an obesity strategy that included a ban on television junk food advertisements before 9 p.m.
A sugar tax on soft drinks introduced in 2018 led companies to reformulate recipes, which in turn led to lower sugar consumption.
But a proposal to tax wholesale sugar and salt bought by manufacturers this year was not supported by the prime minister.