‘Facilitating the choice of healthy eating’: Belgium launches NutriScore labelling

Belgian public health minister Maggie De Block said that the new labelling system will make it easier for consumers to eat balanced diets. “We are facilitating the choice of healthy eating,”​ she said as the launched the initiative.

The decision to back the NutriScore labelling system comes after what the Ministry of Health described as “extensive consultation”​ with stakeholders including consumer organisations as well as food and retail representatives.

NutriScore

NutriScore ranks foods from -15 for the ‘healthiest’ products to +40 for those that are ‘less healthy’. On the basis of this score, the product receives a letter with a corresponding colour code: from dark green (A) to dark red (F).

The algorithm on which the score is calculated takes into account both positive and negative elements. The content of sugars, saturated fatty acids, salt and calories have a negative influence on the score, while the presence of fruits, vegetables, fibre or protein have a positive impact.

NutriScore the ‘preferred choice’

Minister De Block said that the NutriScore system was the preferred choice over other labelling systems, such as the UK’s traffic light scheme, because tests in France – where it has already been adopted – show it has “greater impact​” on buying behaviours than other systems.

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