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Clear Labeling Could Help Address Obesity, Influence Consumers To Choose Healthier Food

Bloomberg: Fight Obesity With Frank Food Labels
Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg distinguished professor at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Department of International Health of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“No country, rich or poor, is immune to the rapid rise in overweight and obesity among both adults and children. But a few are finding they can push back against the dangerous trend by making sure their citizens get clear information about the groceries they buy. … [Consumers] can be steered toward healthier choices by government-mandated labels that clearly tell them what dangers might lurk inside the package. To be effective, such labels need to be prominent and instantly readable. … Still needed are more comprehensive measurements of the degree to which labeling systems influence food-industry behavior, and to what extent they lead to an improvement in overall public health. But the evidence already suggests that every country should consider requiring clear front-of-package food labels. … This is not a heavy-handed move, an overstepping of governmental authority. It’s a worthwhile effort to give consumers the information they need to make dietary choices to protect their health” (7/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.