Last updated on 6 January 2010

Signposting and traffic light labelling

survivor cake

Some food products in supermarkets now have traffic light colours which tell you, at a glance, if the food you’re looking at has high, medium or low amounts of fat (especially saturated fat), salt and added sugars per 100g.

You might also see the number of grams of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugars in what the manufacturer or retailer suggests as a ‘serving’ of the food.

If you see a red light on the front of the pack, you know the food is high in something we should be trying to cut down on. It’s fine to have the food occasionally, or as a treat, but try to keep an eye on how often you choose these foods, or try eating them in smaller amounts.

If you see amber, you know the food isn’t high or low in the nutrient, so this is an OK choice most of the time, but you might want to go for green for that nutrient some of the time.

Green means the food is low in salt, saturated fat, fat or sugars. The more green lights, the healthier the choice.

There is a growing number of products with traffic light colours to help you make your choice. This scheme is being used by an increasing number of supermarkets, next time you go shopping try looking for these symbols.

If your shopping doesn’t have traffic light colours you can still tell whether the levels of fat, sugars and salt are HIGH, MEDIUM or LOW by using this handy card and the nutrition information given on the back of most packs.

traffic light shopping card