While the French High Council for Public Health (HCSP) made public on Monday, 24 August 2015, a positive opinion regarding the relevance of the 5-colour code for the public, a team of researchers (Inserm/INRA/Paris 13 University) directed by Serge Hercberg, on publication of their article in the journal Nutrients, demonstrated that the 5-colour nutrition label (5-CNL) is the most effective nutritional information system for allowing consumers to recognise and compare the nutritional quality of foods, including “at-risk” populations (older subjects, those with a lower educational level, lower income, lower nutritional knowledge, and overweight or obese individuals).
Article 5 of the Health Act, introduced by Marisol Touraine, Minister of Health, and passed by the French Parliament, states, .” ..to make it easier to inform consumers and to help the consumer make informed choices, that the mandatory nutrition declaration may be accompanied by a presentation or complementary expression using graphics or symbols on the front of packaging.”
Several systems have been proposed at national and international level. In France, many learned societies support the establishment of the 5-CNL 5-colour nutritional labelling system (green/yellow/orange/fuchsia pink/red). The latter is based on the calculation of a nutritional quality score (nutrient profiling system, Food Standards Agency, FSA), which takes several elements present on the nutrition label into account (calories, simple sugars, saturated fatty acids, sodium, fibre, protein and percentage of fruits and vegetables per 100 g of product), to arrive at a unique indicator of the nutritional quality of the food.
Several studies have already contributed…