As food ingredient wars across the United States heat up and food companies continue to follow "health" policy trends like low salt, no high-fructose sugar, no trans fats, even no toys in Happy Meals or other children's menus - agencies are trying to help shoppers make sound food choices.


The US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) is considering a color-coded front package labeling system to help consumers make smart food choices according to TIME magazine on May 2. 

A "promising program" from the United Kingdom, Traffic Lights  "uses a color-coded scheme to indicate at a glance the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt contained in a food (red for high, amber for medium and green for low)" and has captured the attention of the FDA.

The results in Britain have shown that shoppers more often than not opt for green dot products and the FDA has "been spearheading an effort with our colleagues in government and outside to develop a system for front-of-pack nutrition labeling that will be evidence-based, easy to read...and provide clear and consistent guidance for making healthy food choices," explained Margaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner of the FDA, in a presentation on April 28.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is continuing to work on their final report that was commissioned by Congress (at a cost of $500,000) in order to look at the effectiveness of "various front-of-package nutrient-profiling systems used worldwide."

Full speech by Hamburg:

To learn more about UK's Food Standards Agency's Traffic Lights program, visit: