Norway health authorities’ advice ‘absurd’ / News / The Foreigner

Norway health authorities’ advice ‘absurd’. A Norwegian interest organisation for overweight persons is censuring medical authorities’ inconsistency when it comes to food. Three years ago, authorities launched the characteristic green and white keyhole mark (‘nøkkelhullet’) on packaging as part of their campaign to change the nation’s food habits. “Foods labelled with the keyhole symbol contain less fat, sugars and salt and more fibre than food products of the same type not carrying the symbol,” Food Safety Authority officials stated.

norwayfood, healthyeatingnorway, frozenpizza



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Norway health authorities’ advice ‘absurd’

Published on Wednesday, 26th September, 2012 at 15:41 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

A Norwegian interest organisation for overweight persons is censuring medical authorities’ inconsistency when it comes to food.

Nøkkelhullet/Keyhole trademark
Nøkkelhullet/Keyhole trademark
Photo: Norwegian Directorate of Health


Three years ago, authorities launched the characteristic green and white keyhole mark (‘nøkkelhullet’) on packaging as part of their campaign to change the nation’s food habits.

“Foods labelled with the keyhole symbol contain less fat, sugars and salt and more fibre than food products of the same type not carrying the symbol,” Food Safety Authority officials stated.

“The keyhole is a food label that identifies healthier food products within a product group. Choosing foods with the keyhole symbol makes it easier to find healthier products in food stores. The keyhole symbol is there to help consumers identify the healthier options when buying food,” they added.

LFO organisation leader Jørgen Foss believes that labelling of food is a good idea, but not in the way that the government is currently using it, however.

Holding a package of Pizza Grandiosa in a food shop, he exclaimed to Vårt Land, “It’s ridiculous frozen pizza has the keyhole symbol.”

Mr Foss also expressed concerns that the confusion caused by the labelling would cause people to ignore the advice and continue eating unhealthily.

Moreover, he criticises the dietary advice given out by the Directorate of Health, saying, “It is completely wrong when obviously unhealthy items are labeled as healthy. I think the government is guiding us to make the wrong choices.”

Frode Jahren from the Norwegian Heart and Lung Association (LHL) shares Mr Foss’ concerns.

Pizza Grandiosa
Pizza Grandiosa
Stabburet
“The keyhole mark is not actually synonymous with health. It is no wonder that people are skeptical when Grandiosa gets labeled. We are really positive to highlighting healthy food, but just have to realise that the system does not lend itself to mass communication,” he said.

Mr Jahren thinks more could be done to help people’s health.

“Free school fruit, more gym and a ban on soda machines in schools are among our issues to combat. This is not necessarily popular measure, but very important.”

Meanwhile, divisional director at the Institute of Public Health director, Knut-Inge Klepp, can see why people get confused, but explained that different food groups are considered and the labels are placed on the healthiest foods in those groups.

“It does not mean that we recommend people to eat frozen pizza every day, just because some varieties are labelled. It’s obvious there are healthier alternatives when it concerns frozen pizza.”
“We also know that Norwegians eat a lot of frozen pizza so we will gladly contribute towards people at least choosing a healthier alternative. We recommend eating frozen pizza with salad or accompanied by extra vegetables,” he concluded.

Earlier this year, a Swedish journalist highlighted that Pizza Grandiosa, one of Norway’s most popular brands, does not actually contain ham and tomato, but tomato puree and a mixture of some meat type and soya instead.



Published on Wednesday, 26th September, 2012 at 15:41 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

This post has the following tags: norwayfood, healthyeatingnorway, frozenpizza.





  
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