Red light spells wanker

I should probably apologise to Billy Ocean for that title, but then the paternalist idiots who dreamed up these traffic light food nutrition labelling schemes should also apologise. To everybody. Because it turns out they’re a complete waste of time.

Deakin University researchers said their study was the first in Australia to use supermarket sales data to analyse the impact of such labelling on food purchases. The study, published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, follows the recommendation by an expert panel for Australia to adopt a system of ”multiple traffic light labelling” giving red, amber or green lights for various nutrients such as fat and sugar.
Lead researcher Gary Sacks, of Deakin University’s WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, said various studies had shown that consumers liked the idea of traffic light labelling because it was easier to understand than other forms of nutritional information.

And possibly easier to understand is desired because it’s easier to ignore.

But the study, established to ”try to test how people respond to it in real life”, found such labelling did not result in people buying healthier foods…
… product sales did not change during a 10-week trial.

All that nudging only to be ignored by consumers in favour of buying what they enjoyed eating. And what must really be upsetting the righteous nanny state bansturbators about this is that they can’t blame it on low income types buying cheap, shit food.

Researchers said the trial was affected by the demographics of online grocery shoppers – who were typically educated and wealthy – and its limited scope.

Limited scope I can see since it was only a ten week trial, but that demographic? Not low income chip addicts but educated and cashed up. That’s practically the target group for early conversion to the lowfatfreerangelowcarbglutenfreeorganicfairtradereducedsaltstrengththroughjoy food range, isn’t it? And here the ungrateful bastards are, exercising personal choice? How very fucking dare they, the nannies must be clucking.

Well, take the hint and burn off, and take your traffic light labels with you. If I want to know what’s in it I’ll look at the ingredients. If I want to know about the nutritional content I’ll look at that too. If it’s not that important to me then, astoundingly enough, I won’t fucking look at any of it no matter how easy to understand you attempt to make it. You nannies may make nutrition the number one factor in your food buying decisions but it’s simply not always a factor at all for other people. We’re not all the same, do you see? For many of us price is the biggie, and for many others it’s taste, and because I look at food as something rather more than fuel to sustain my body that’s always going to be my priority. Of course I’m going to turn my nose up at something tasty if it’s full of plutonium but a bit of fat, salt or sugar? Life is for living, guys. It’s not supposed to be an endurance contest. The only red lights I’m interested in spell “cooked” and perhaps “rotisserie chicken”.

And “danger” if you’re a T junction or Billy Ocean.

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Posted on March 8, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Red light spells wanker.

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