The United Arab Emirates is set to introduce a Nutrition Labelling Policy wherein packaged foods will be colour-coded (in either red, amber or green) in order to help understand the nutritional value of the product. This initiative has been launched in order to raise the awareness among the community with regards to a healthy lifestyle. On the basis of the colours, consumers will be able to identify the levels of calories, sugar, saturated fat, salt and other contents, thereby allowing them to make informed choices.
Although this policy has been developed by the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing, in coordination with the Food Security Office, it will be implemented by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology. The policy is expected to reduce the consumption of unhealthy food by 30%. The initial phase of the policy has been deemed to be optional in nature but from January 2022 onwards, it will become mandatory. The colour-coding of the labels will stand for the following:
- Green: Low Risk & Healthy choice
- Amber: Moderate Risk & must be consumed moderately
- Red: High Risk & must not be consumed frequently
The policy also includes canned foods, both solid and liquid and excludes fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. With research showing that more than 65% of the UAE population fall into the category of being overweight, this initiative will help promote the consumption of healthy food, which thereby will improve the public health.
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