Fri, Jul 02, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Voluntary food labeling program hits area stores

HEALTHY EATING A number of convenience store chains have begun providing information about how much real food their products contain


Food sold in convenience stores usually provides consumers with basic nutrition information, but with a new program begun yesterday, labels on some foods sold at convenience stores will also inform customers how many portions they will be eating from each of the major food groups.

In an effort to promote healthy eating, the Department of Health recently completed working with several convenience store chains to bring more detailed nutrition information to labeling on popular prepared foods.

The items that will receive the labels include products such as sandwiches, rice balls, lunch boxes and noodles.

In addition to indicating caloric intake and other basic nutrition information, the new labels will show the number of servings the food items provides in each food group.

Convenience stores can choose to provide the information on a separate brochure in place of food labels.

While the new labeling recommendations are not mandatory, major convenience store chains, including 7-11, Family Mart, Niko Mart and Hi-life, have agreed to follow department recommendations and began implementing the new guidelines yesterday.

"We recently asked several convenience stores to include not just caloric intake but also the breakdown of the major food groups ... eating a lunch box alone, for example, will not fulfill recommended dairy and fruit intake amounts," said Hang Chi-min (杭極敏), an official with the Bureau of Food Safety.

According to the bureau, a rough model for nutritious eating for adults would require a balanced diet.

Such a diet might include three to five servings of grain, three servings of vegetables, four servings of protein-rich food such as fish, meat and eggs, two servings of fruit, two servings of dairy products and the equivalent of 3 spoons of fat.

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