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Food label backdown

1 December 2011 - 4:28pm

The federal government has handed down its evaluation of more than 60 recommendations in an independent review of the nation's food labelling laws.

However, health and consumer leaders have criticised the decision to not introduce a traffic light food label system to Australia.

The initiative would have featured red, amber or green ratings for key ingredients - such as fat, salt and sugar - on the front of food packaging.

Federal health minister Nicola Roxon claimed that there was no evidence that any such labelling system currently affected the purchasing decisions consumers made, and instead proposed that a fresh approach would be taken to address the issue.

The government agreed with the recommendation that the standard of health claims on food - such as "low fat" and "high fibre" - needed to be improved.

The decision comes at a time when 61.4 per cent of the Australian population are either overweight or obese - according to the Department of Health and Aging.

Those looking to learn more about nutrition and lifestyle choices may not realise that some private health insurers offer weight loss programs as part of their policies.

A health insurance broker can help examine private cover options to find the one best suited to your requirements.