Traffic Light Labeling

A new system is in place at Massachusetts General Hospital to improve customers health by choosing healthier food options. A color coded system for nutrition labels was implemented for their customers to make healthier choices. Even though most restaurants and fast food chains have postings of nutrition information on their menus, such as calories, fat, and sodium content, there still seems to be some confusion on reading labels and what it means for someone’s health. Having a system like this hospital has adapted, seems to improve customer’s knowledge of what the healthiest choices are based on a red, green, or yellow “traffic light” system.  Green being the healthiest, yellow less healthy, and red with little or no nutritional value. A way the hospital is keeping track of this is by having the cash registers record each purchase as a green, yellow, or red item in order to see if there is an increase in making healthier choices.

Although this system may not show directly if customers are more aware of nutritional knowledge, it can potentially show if the customers will make healthier choices based on the “traffic light” labeling.

I think this is an excellent idea to try! It gives customers an eye-opener of what foods are actually more nutritious than others without looking at the label. The hospital has done the thinking for the customers already and when someone is on a time limit, it’s a quick way to make a healthy choice. What do you think about this? Should restaurants or food stores start implementing a system like this?


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