It was during one of my mandatory trips to Woolies and typically confronted with a 10 person deep queue that I overheard two elderly ladies speak in the tut tut manner with which elderly ladies are sometimes inclined to do.
Lady 1 (spoken in a raised tone to ensure that the intended culprit caught each and every word): Why do some people allow their children to get so FAT!
The Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has acknowledged that obesity is a serious and growing problem in Australia.
Consumer Action organisation Choice believes one solution would be to enable people to make healthier choices. But surely some people question, don’t people realize what they’re putting in their mouths? By the look of Australia’s obesity crisis which has now estimated at being 60 per cent of adults and one in four children overweight or obese, it seems that they don’t.
Perhaps one reason for many people failing to make healthy choices is that manufacturers are allowed to sell anything and still call it “lite”, “diet”, “a healthier choice”, “energy food”. Foods are displayed in the Health Food section of the supermarket without rhyme or reason – a “health” bar from this section can contain the same number of kilojoules and the same amount of sugar as a chocolate bar from confectionery.
Another example are the sugar filled cereals which tout “high fibre” and “high protein” qualities while ignoring the fact that the box is full of sugar. And a personal favorite of mine, the products which proudly announce that they are 99% fat free when their major component is sugar.
To help overcome the mixed and confusing messages put forward by manufacturers as to the healthiness of their products Choice has suggested clearer labelling of packaging. Needless to say manufacturers are fighting any changes to the current labelling requirements, their argument being that they already provide this information.
Why provide anything clearer than this they argue.
One thing is absolutely certain and this is when I am doing my dart in and out of the supermarket one of the last things that I’m going to do is stand there and read the flea size print to try to ascertain whether or not 29.7g of sugar or 395mg of sodium per 100g is or is not a healthy amount.
Below is an example of what the manufacturers are fighting against, a clear easy to see traffic light system. I’ll believe that manufacturers of these sugar laden products are sincere wanting to help Australia’s obesity crisis when they proudly print their sugar content in the same size font as they proudly proclaim 99% fat free.
Please feel free to use this post for any consumer related whinges.