Food Law News - UK - 2004

FSA Consultation Letter, 25 November 2004

LABELLING - Consultation on Nutrient Profiling

At its open meeting in July this year, the Agency's Board agreed an Action Plan on Food Promotions and Children's Diets. The Action Plan makes a series of recommendations intended to shift the balance in food promotions aimed at children away from foods high in fat, salt and sugar, and towards healthier options.

Responses are requested by: 25 February 2005

Consultation details

The Agency intends to make it easier for parents and children to make healthier food choices. The White Paper: Choosing Health sets out the wider programme of Government action within which these Agency initiatives takes place.

To support the implementation of the Action Plan, the Agency has commissioned research to develop and test nutrient profiling models to define 'foods high in fat, salt and sugar' and 'healthier options'. The Agency is now seeking your views on the outcomes of the study. A detailed summary and the full report can be viewed from the link at the foot of this page.

The focus of this consultation is specifically the scientific basis of the preferred nutrient profiling model, the way in which it has been developed, and its effectiveness. This consultation does not cover the applications for which the model might be used as these will be the subject of further consultation in due course.

The Agency is currently working with stakeholders to take forward a number of the recommendations in the Action Plan to which nutrient profiling may be applicable. This work includes developing advice for businesses on signpost labelling, use of nutrition and health claims, and criteria for reducing the levels of fat, salt and sugar in foods aimed at children.

The preferred model

The report recommends one model that, with further refinement, could form the basis of a workable system. This is a scoring model that takes account of energy, saturated fat, non-milk extrinsic sugars, and salt; and the degree to which these nutrients are balanced by calcium, iron, long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and fruit and vegetable content. The model therefore identifies foods high in fat, salt and sugar, while recognising the important contribution of dairy, meat, fish, and fruit and vegetable based products to a balanced diet.

The report also makes a number of recommendations for further development and testing which might be carried out on the preferred model.


The Agency would welcome views on any aspect of the report, the preferred model, and the way in which it has been developed. In particular, we would welcome your comments in response to the following questions.


The following are currently available on the FSA web site:

See also related news item: 25 November 2004

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