12 Responses to “Traffic Light Labelling – how does it work?”

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  1. avatar Jan says:

    Does anyone have an analysis or any comments to make about the studies referred to in Jessica’s message above in Harriet Hall’s criticism of Taubes’s book? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20820038/ and http://m.ajcn.nutrition.org/content/92/4/967

  2. avatar Richard says:

    They’ve had a nightmare…

    #ConfusionOrStrategy ?

  3. avatar Jessica says:

    Cool, thanks for those, I have posted the link. Whilst being away from the board, I was told that Harriet Hall said this :-


    which the person claimed debunked Gary Taubes theory. However, I think they are determined not to feel guilty about laughing at fat people, so it MUST be that fat people are to blame. What I found interesting is that Harriet Hall – in this article – says we must not berate fat people for lacking will power, we should instead look at why they find it so hard.

    Perhaps people in the world could also stop making fun of them as well? We’ll see.

  4. avatar Jessica says:

    Oh this depresses me beyond belief. The real issue I see is that this conveniently leads the government on to do a stupid tax on “fat” – just tax everything that gets a red light in the fat department. I look forward to the day when I can no longer afford to eat, as my nanny state government will put all such “dangerous” food out of my price range. Then I’d lose weight – I mean, starve to death – just to show them. Even Waitrose, who used to allow us to make up our minds, have started upping the price of pork chops apparently for the sole reason that they sometimes remove that lovely strip of fat attached to them. My favourite piece of pork now is belly pork, but my partner cannot handle eating that amount of fat.
    Whilst convenience foods are so very cheap, the government shows us how hyprocritical they are about helping our health.
    Oh Zoe, I am having a huge argument with someone on line about fat, and the reasons people get fat. I was incensed by a comment from someone who stated that losing weight was simply a matter of eating less and moving more. I did respond rather vigorously (this is a “no holds” barred forum, so anything goes) and did get a slightly amended statement further down the line. However, I was barraged by one member who insisted that high fat/low carb was a fad, and a dangerous one at that. I was highly amused by his insistance that I could not be eating fat and losing weight. He can’t see me, he doesn’t know me from Adam, but apparently he can tell from thousands of miles away that I am not losing weight. This is from a forum of sceptics who will happily take apart any commonly held belief, except when it conflicts with their ‘knowledge’. I don’t know if anyone has any advice, since although I have directed people to this website and hightlighted Dr Bernstein’s work on the matter, I am still being told I am astoundingly ignorant (the last comment I had was that “calories in = calories out, unless I want to challenge the first law of thermodynamics”). My immediate thoughts are to leave this argument alone, but I want to fight the assumption that since fat people are fat because “it’s their own fault”, other people have a right to laugh at them and treat them like a sub class of human beings.

  5. avatar b-nasty says:

    That Kroger system (NuVal) is so scientific that they used the chemical symbol for naphtahlene — a toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbon — as their logo. That about tells me all I need to know about the level of scientific expertise held by its creators. The fact that it considers a pasta noodle and shredded wheat (assuming dry – yuck) to be better than Atlantic salmon makes it look like an even bigger joke than its logo.

  6. avatar gollum says:

    I hear Central Europe’s food industry is against these silly traffic lights, if only because just about any food with some taste would show up red (if not, wait for incoming salt – free glutamate – any fun at all traffic lights).

    I shall however point out that palm oil (50%) and coconut oil (90%) seem to be listed as mostly saturated. Granted nature didn’t deliver palm oil canisters, but natural coconuts should have the same fat composition in their fat as coconut fat, the latter being made out of the former. Though whole coconuts are indeed uncommon in Western cuisine.

  7. avatar M says:

    Unintended consequences indeed. You have to wonder why the food manufacturers were so resistant to this in the first place. They’ve caved in now because it’s clear there will be no dent in their profits.

    I suppose I ought to look out for further increase in price for my oxtail, steak, butter, marrow bones, clams and clotted cream.

    Btw: you were away for far too long.

  8. avatar Lee Phillips says:

    As the majority of population will keep eating carbs after this comes in, the reduced isle will remain abundantly stocked with that terribly dangerous fatty meat stuff and bits of chicken that are not lean breast will remain cheap. Every cloud has a silver lining…

    Besides, I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of people out there are either oblivious/dismissive of the effects of what they put into their body or don’t look at the information anyway. OK there may be people that genuinely can’t work out the current system that may be “helped” by this new one (to eat worse by the look of it) but I think people will put the red segments into their trolley anyway. I know I’ll be putting the red fat segments in my trolley, unless they’re attached to pork pies, as they’ll stay firmly on the shelf.

    One can only say so much before the pushback comes from those that are quite happy to sleepwalk their way to metabolic disaster and disease. I’ve managed to convert one guy at work to Paleo so far, so that’s one more healthy guy out there (he will be once he loses the excess 3 stone he’s packing due to beer and other carbs anyway).

    Keep pushing Zoe, I’m learning so much following your site and tweets. I’ve just got your Obesity Epidemic book (but have to read it when my wife’s not about). This and the other stuff I’ve got about Gut and Psycology Syndrome may well help me get a healthier gut and alleviate my autism too, which would be just grand.

  9. We have a similar program created by Kroger / King Soopers in the western states called NuVal – http://www.kroger.com/pharmacy/health_matters/Pages/nuval.aspx. Based on mainstream low fat guidelines. Kudo’s for at least making an attempt. The problem is that whole grains are ranked as being healthier then animal based whole foods – Jeff Gerber, MD

  10. avatar Evinx says:

    This is what happens when govt goes where it has no business. The slippery slope will be to fine/punish businesses or people who violate these “standards” — we have the same problem in US with local govt mandating drink sizes. The problem is not the size, it is the attitude that govt knows best — despite having been so wrong for so long on so many issues.

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