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Nutritional Information: Traffic Light Labelling Is the Best Way to Reach Consumers


  • Kornelia Hagen


More than half of German adults are overweight. Those most often affected include the elderly, poor, and individuals with poor education. Yet is overweight an issue that economists should address? Poor nutrition and lack of exercise play a major role in widespread diseases. One third of total health care expenditures are devoted to illnesses related to overweight. This is just one of the reasons why economists should examine how to promote more health-conscious nutritional decisions. One instrument favored by policy makers in this regard is nutrition labelling. At present, manufacturers display nutritional information on food packaging on a voluntary basis and in a non-standardised format. This is supposed to change. In the near future, the European Parliament will convene to debate the standardisation of nutritional information.

Suggested Citation

  • Kornelia Hagen, 2010. "Nutritional Information: Traffic Light Labelling Is the Best Way to Reach Consumers," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(19), pages 141-151.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr6-19

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    Cited by:

    1. Dominic Way & Hortense Blazsin & Ragnar Löfstedt & Frederic Bouder, 2017. "Pharmaceutical Benefit–Risk Communication Tools: A Review of the Literature," Drug Safety, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 15-36, January.

    More about this item


    Consumer policy; Behavioral economics; Labelling systems; Traffic light labelling; Nutrition and health;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty


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