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The Editors

France's Next Culinary Triumph: Better Food Labels

A 10-week experiment in color-coded nutrition boxes could lead to better eating in Europe and beyond.
Beware the brie.

Beware the brie.

Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

If only people could tell at a glance the nutritional content of the food they buy and eat, they could easily improve their diets. Obesity and diet-related health problems of all kinds would fall significantly. Or they would, public health officials believe, if a perfectly clear and simple food label could be devised.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently updated its label -- to highlight the calorie count and number of servings included, and provide a daily value for added sugar. It is now looking into regulations on which foods can be promoted as "healthy." The U.K., since 2013, has had prominent red-amber-green traffic-light labels showing whether the food is low, medium or high in calories, fats, sugar or salt. Early data suggests that, as a result of the voluntary program, British shoppers are buying less of salty and fatty products such as Parma prosciutto and brie.