Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

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Should food packaging take a cue from Australian tobacco?

An Australian court recently upheld a law banning logos and company advertising directly on cigarette packages. Instead, packages must now feature only graphic images of the terrible things that smoking can do to a person. Brand names must all adhere to the same font, location, and colour.

Nutrition has recently been taking cues from progress made in the tobacco industry. I wonder what would happen if branding and nutrition claims were removed from all food packages. I know that it seems a little hard to fathom but imagine going to the grocery store and not being inundated by branded food products with a myriad of nutrition claims. Imagine simple packaging with ingredients and nutrition facts, or even new and improved simplified nutrition information panels. How much easier would it be to make choices? You could still be loyal to your favourite brands but your decision would no longer be affected by claims to lower your cholesterol or boost your antioxidants.

Just to play devil’s advocate… Maybe it could even be taken a step further. There could be gruesome images of the negative effects of excess sodium for foods containing more than a certain percentage of your recommended daily sodium consumption, the same for foods high in saturated or trans-fat, nitrates, and the list goes on. I bet seeing photos of colostomy bags would drive down sales of hot dogs.