Junk meals ‘ought to get cigarette-style well being warnings’, researchers say 

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)

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.


World’s Most Bubbly Housing Markets Flash 2008 Fashion Warnings

(Bloomberg) – Real estate prices around the world are showing the kind of bubble warnings that haven’t been seen since the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis, according to Bloomberg Economics.

New Zealand, Canada and Sweden are considered to be the foamy real estate markets in the world based on the key indicators used in the Bloomberg Economics dashboard. The UK and the US are also at the top of the risk rankings.

Where house prices have risen the most

“A cocktail of ingredients is driving house prices worldwide to unprecedented levels,” wrote economist Niraj Shah in the report. “Record low interest rates, unprecedented fiscal incentives, lockdown savings that can be used as deposits, limited housing stocks and expectations of a robust global economic recovery all contribute.”

Domestic workers who need more space and tax incentives that some governments are offering to home buyers are also fueling demand.

The Bloomberg Economics dashboard compiles five indicators to estimate a country’s “bubble rank”, with a higher value indicating a greater risk of a correction. Among the indicators, the price-rent and price-income ratios help to assess the sustainability of price increases. The growth in house prices measures the current momentum.

For many countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, prices are higher than they were before the 2008 financial crisis, according to Bloomberg Economics’ analysis.

Bubble ranking

Analysis shows that even if risk metrics are rising, interest rates are still low, lending standards are generally higher than in the past, and macroprudential guidelines apply, the trigger for a crash is not obvious. Shah said the period ahead would be more of a slowdown than a collapse.

Bloomberg Terminal readers can access the full report here: GLOBAL INSIGHT: Property Bubble Gauges Flash 2008 Level Alert

However, the risk is greater when there is a synchronized boom in house prices – as Shah said there is in the current cycle.

The story goes on

“As borrowing costs begin to rise, real estate markets – and broader measures to ensure financial stability – will be critically tested,” wrote Shah.

There are more stories like this on Bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay on top with the most trusted source of business news.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP