Spain’s Ministry of Health has announced a number of new measures in the fight against an ever increasing obesity epidemic in the country.
The new Nutri-Score system will hit the stores from this week and will feature labels with five different colours and an A-E grading scale to indicate the overall nutritional value of each food product and how much sugar, saturated fat, salt they contain per 100 grams.
The traffic light based labels will mean that products with good nutritional values will be graded ‘A’ which will be a dark green in colour. At the other end of the scale you will have products categorised as ‘E’, which will be red in colour and indicated poor nutritional value.
Spain will be one of four European countries to adopt the new food labelling system along with Belgium, Portugal and France, which has been using the system since 2017. It is hoped that the system will help to reduce the obesity epidemic, which has plagued the country in recent years.
The new system will provide consumers with a more a visual approach in better understanding how healthy any product in their shopping basket may be and allow them to make comparisons with other products.
Minister of Health, Maria Luisa Carcedo, said “This information will allow citizens to compare with other similar products easily and make an informed and motivated decision to follow a healthier diet”.
Other measures were also announced on Monday to help reduce obesity levels and promote a healthier diet and lifestyle. These include the prevention of the sale of food products in schools, hospitals and other public places, which may contain high levels of sugar, saturated fats, calories and salt. The advertising of unhealthy food targeting children under the age of 15 will also be tackled in the move.
The Ministry of Health acknowledged that it may take around a year or so before all products carry the Nutri-Score labels, although some supermarkets in the country such as Eroski, began implementing the system in September this year.
Earlier in the year, the Spanish government and the food industry made a pledge to reduce the sugar, fat and salt content in over 3,500 food products over the next three years.