Monday, May 6, 2013


Industry seems to have struck a goldmine in green color which seems to be misleading the consumer that products  printed with nutrition information against a green background are healthier than others. Internationally green color is associated with cleanliness and consumers do show a tendency to believe all that has a green certification which symbolizes positive things, This a very disturbing finding and regulators need to have a closer look at this phenomenon to modify labeling rules in future. Here is a take on this new revelation.

"The color of the label is obviously irrelevant. But  green nutritional panels — which now adorn Snickers, M&M's, and other candies made by Mars – appear to fool shoppers into thinking they're buying something that's more healthful, according to a research paper published last month in the journal Health Communication". "Cornell University professor Jonathon Schuldt conducted experiments that found not only that green labels increase the perceived healthfulness of foods, but that such misunderstandings were particularly prevalent among those who place high importance on healthy eating. "The green calorie labels buffer relatively poor nutrition foods from appearing less healthful among those especially concerned with healthy eating," said Schuldt, who thinks it's high time that the government stepped in to bar such trickery. "As government organizations including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration consider developing a uniform front-of-package labeling system for the U.S. marketplace, these findings suggest that the design and color of the labels may deserve as much attention as the nutritional information they convey."

Probably more restrictions are needed regarding the color background the industry can use while printing nutrition information on the label. At present even a poison can be packed in green colored container with its attendant implications. If necessary use of green labels can be reserved for good products which are healthy and balanced based on scientific data. Already in countries like India green dots allowed to be printed on one corner of the label to denote that the contents do not contain any ingredients derived from animals. Similarly gren traffic signal type presentation is proposed in some countries to discriminate between healthy and not so healthy products. 

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