Thursday, February 11, 2016

Member in the News: Trent Smith

'Imitation' food labels could solve obesity epidemic: expert

By Imogen Brennan
Introducing the word 'imitation' to the labels of highly processed food products could be the answer to solving the obesity epidemic, according to an American economist.

Australia's obesity rate is larger than ever, with more than 63 per cent of adults and a quarter of Australian children now overweight or obese, despite consumers having access to highly detailed food labels on packaged food.

Economist Dr Trent Smith, from the University of Otago, is currently in Canberra for the Annual Conference of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

Dr Smith has studied the history of food labelling and behavioural psychology in food choices.
He said it should be the responsibility of governments to ensure companies label their food clearly, so consumers can make simple choices.

"Trans fats are a very good example of a success story," Dr Smith said.

Trans fats were introduced to the food supply in 1913, by the American company Crisco.

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