Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has launched an education package to help consumers, schools and health professionals read food labels.
The package, which includes a seminar and interactive section on the FSANZ website explaining what food labels mean, a colour poster and a pocket guide to take shopping, was developed in line with FSANZ research that indicated consumers do not completely understand nutrition labels.
“We’ve found consumers will read and understand nutrition labels, but if they see there is 1100mg of salt in a product they do not know whether this is good or bad,” FSANZ spokesperson Lydia Buchtmann said.
The education package offers an alternative to front-of-pack food label changes, supporting FSANZ research that with some prompting, consumers can understand the healthy eating advice on existing labels.
“Achieving the outcome of people making healthier choices is not just about changing legislation and making food manufacturers do something, it’s about managing consumers and helping them understand what labels means,” Buchtmann said.