By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital say that food labeling could be made much easier if only a stop light method was put in place. That’s right: green, yellow and red food labels lead to long-term improvements in the selection of healthier food items.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Fourth Of July Festivities Kick Off With Concert, Fireworks
The researchers conducted a cafeteria food study that had two parts:
The first was use of the “traffic light” labels, in which “green” signified the healthiest items “yellow” was used for less healthy items, and “red” for foods with little or no nutritional value.READ MORE: 2022 Wawa Welcome America Festival Guide: Road Closures, Public Transportation Information
Cafeteria cash registers recorded how many foods of each color were purchased.
The second part was also crucial – the placement of food. Healthier items were placed at eye-level and less healthy items at lower levels.MORE NEWS: Rhys Hoskins, Darick Hall Homer, Lead Phillies Past Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
After the first six months, there was a 12 percent increase in the purchase of “green” items and a 20 percent decrease in the purchase of “red” items. The results have held for two years