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Members of European Parliament discuss food labeling and heart health
Date:6/2/2008

Members of the European Parliament Heart Group meet today, 3 June, in Brussels, to discuss the link between nutrition and cardiovascular diseases and how labelling of food can help people choose products that are better for their hearts and vessels. The European Commission has already made the declaration of the amount of energy, fat, sugars, salt and saturates on food packaging mandatory. Nevertheless, there is no European legislation harmonising diverse national schemes. Consumers often find nutrition labelling confusing and sometimes even misleading.

"Given the alarming rate at which obesity is progressing, especially among children, bringing with it other health related problems such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, it seems necessary to insist on giving consumers clear and understandable information in order to help them make better informed dietary choices," explaines Professor Pedro Marques, Spokesperson for the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR), a registered body of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and speaker at today's MEP Heart Group meeting.

"Front of pack labelling should allow consumers to know at a glance whether a product contributes to their health or not", says Susanne Logstrup, Director of the European Heart Network (EHN). "To achieve this, simplified front of pack labelling of four key nutrients, energy, saturated/trans fats, sugars and salt, must be presented in an easy to understand way. Based on work carried out particularly in the UK, EHN believes that a scheme whereby the quantity of these nutrients are highlighted with a multiple colour coding ('traffic lights'), indicating clearly whether a product contains high, low or medium levels of them, is the best". EHN calls upon MEPs to improve the Commission proposal and put colour coding on mandatory front of pack in the Commission proposal and introduce mandatory back of pack labelling of the 'big eight'
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Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
press@escardio.org
33-492-948-627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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