What we eat affects our health. Many health problems have been linked to our eating habits. The EU continues to strenghten its legislation on food labelling to provide you with honest and comprehensive information, so you can decide what you put on your plate.
Food labels already tell you what packaged food contains, providing essential information about ingredients or manufacturers. But the law goes further, requiring producers to indicate calories, fat, carbohydrate, sugar, protein, and salt levels contained in the food.
Obesity is responsable for 2 - 8% of health care costs.
More than half of the EU population is overweight or obese. This causes various psychological and physical problems, such as increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
SOURCE: WHO, OECD (IN 2010 - OVER 15 YEARS)
of all people with diabetes are currently unaware of their condition
If you were born with diabetes or are at risk of developing it, it is essential to know what you eat. Diabetes represents a growing threat to human health and can cause heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and risk of amputation. In the EU, 325,000 deaths per year are attributed to diabetes.
of Europeans has a food allergy
Manufacturers must declare all ingredients present in pre-packaged foods sold in the EU, including allergens.
These are specifically listed as:
Food-related diseases and allergies are on the increase in developed countries. Food allergy significantly affects people's quality of life and can be fatal.
Source: European Commission
Lactose intolerance can either be congenital or acquired. It is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and, to a lesser extent, milk-derived dairy products.
There is fish and fish: one is an actual piece of fish, freshly cut, and the other one is made of several different parts of the fish, assembled together and coloured to make it look like fish. This is called formed fish, and the same process also applies to meat. Formed fish or formed meat are not dangerous to your health, but in order for you to be able to choose what you eat, it must be specified on the label.
Food labels for honey, olive oil, fresh fruit, vegetables and meat (beef, porc, lamb, goat and poultry) must indicate the country of origin. This information can for example prove useful when you want to reduce your carbon footprint by buying local products.