Buyer Beware …Of the Fine Print!

I try to eat healthily.  As a former Operating Room Nurse, I have far too many times seen the consequences of a lifetime of eating the wrong types of food.

Most of these patients weren’t to blame for their dietary choices. They lived in a time when nutritional information on foods was very limited.

Nowadays, the consumer is well armed with valuable information on many areas of nutrition, from the general, what foods to eat and what foods not to eat. To the specific, what foods to eat and what foods not to eat if you have a disease such as diabetes or heart-related issues.

Yes, at first glance, it seems the information is readily available and plentiful; all is well until you get to the grocery store.

Did you bring your magnifying glass?  Hopefully, you did because you’re going to need it.

Buyer Beware

Buyer Beware …Of the Fine Print!

The print on labels containing the critical information you require to make informed nutritional choices is so small, that in many cases it’s unreadable.

For a young person with perfect eyesight it would be very difficult to read, but for an elderly shopper, impossible.

Our governments still allow grossly unhealthy foods on grocery store shelves. Foods with trans fats, high amounts of sugar, in its many forms, sodium nitrite, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, tocopherols, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides, annatto colour, and the list goes on….

If they are not going to ban these ingredients outright, they should, at the very least insist the labels be clearly legible so the consumer can avoid these foods.

At a time when health spending is going through the roof, it seems small changes like this could go a long way to reducing the cost to the system, of an unhealthy diet.

In other words, let’s practice a little preventative medicine.

I believe the majority of grocery shoppers are concerned about the quality of the food they are consuming and would check the ingredient label if it was at all legible.

Look, we all know the general population is well ahead of the government when it comes to important societal change. I strongly believe this change in labelling needs to happen.

My eyesight isn’t what it used to be, so this is my little rant for the day…lol!

What do you think?  Should government insist the labels be clearly legible?

Are governments too slow to act on such changes?

 

 

Comments

  1. It is really scary how much information the companies try to “hide” on their labels! Very Scary!

  2. In order to be legible to most people, labels might have to be bigger. So a small can of soup might have to be in a large box/bag in order to accommodate the list. That, in itself, would be telling, don`t you think? You would be able to tell what products had a long list of (poor) ingredients by the size of the container. Also, similar to cigarette packages where I live, the print for ingredients must be black on a white background for better contrast even if this interferes with the “branding”. Another thought is that all sugars, for instance, must be grouped together and THAT quantity would dictate its order in the list. “Natural flavours” is a wishy-washy word that can hide ingredients that some people might otherwise opt to avoid.
    The Campbells company has come out to say it will identify GMOs in its products. My guess is that they will avoid using any. I hope they add a note stating that all GMOs are labeled. That will obviously distinguish their products.
    There are many ideas for labels that could be implemented to educate the consumer but they won`t be unless there is either a political will (don`t hold your breath) or a public outcry.

  3. sabina edwards says:

    just call it , what it is…if its sugar call it sugar LOL

  4. I think the best bet is to try to buy fresh foods, rather then processed. While I agree labeling would help, it would help more if people stopped buy so many processed foods in the first place.
    Little Miss Kate recently posted…Home Sweet Home – Thanks to Princess Margaret Cancer CentreMy Profile

  5. It would be great to see labels that are easier to read. Even if they had to go to the two layer peelable labels that I’ve seen. Unfortunately that would add cost so they are unlikely to do it. Sticking to the edges of the grocery store is the easy way to stay away from additives without having to squint.
    Merry120 recently posted…Great Products to Keep Your #HappyRenewYear Focus in 2016My Profile

  6. understand it takes a very long time in Canada to get the labels changed largely because of the regulations and the dual languages. But yes for sure they should be easier to understand and allergens need to be labelled much clearer. I don’t know what half of that is that you just listed and that is very scary!
    paula schuck recently posted…My February That’s So Random Odd Spammy Blog Comments – Third EditionMy Profile

  7. Ingredients should be classified into “good” and “bad”. Then, a person with minimal education can read; bad, bad, bad, good, bad, bad and know the true nutritional value of the product. Not really but it sure would make things easier.

    I’ve done a fair amount of reading on labels (I try not to buy too much processed but there are some things I really want) and I still get fooled. I feel like companies are trying to trick us and that’s what really bothers me. I don’t have a problem with them selling unhealthy foods (I don’t want the government in my kitchen) as long as people can make an informed choice.

    P.S. It’s not your eyesight that is necessarily going but an attempt by brands to keep you from knowing what’s really in your foods.

    Besos Sarah.
    Sarah De Diego recently posted…This is What Happens at a Paw Patrol Show in Mexico #travelMy Profile

    • You have made some excellent points Sarah! A simplified classification system, making it easier and quicker for everyone to make an informed decision would work wonders.

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