The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has condemned foods labelled as “diabetic” or “suitable for diabetics” as overpriced and of no real benefit for people with diabetes.
The FSA says that this type of labelling should not appear on food products, as consumers see it is a stamp of approval and think that such food is beneficial or even essential for people with diabetes.
This could mean that confectionery manufacturers such as Thorntons and retailers such as Boots, which sell “diabetic” foods, might have to change the labelling of products currently marked as being “suitable for diabetics”.
An FSA spokeswoman says: “Diabetic labelling tends to be used on sweets, biscuits and similar foods. The main concern is that labelling these types of foods as diabetic undermines important healthy-eating messages.”
Charity Diabetes UK has joined the FSA’s condemnation of the labelling of diabetic foods. The European Commission is considering how the labelling of foods intended specifically for people with diabetes can be controlled.
A spokeswoman for Thorntons, which manufactures a range of diabetic chocolate, says: “Our research has shown a high percentage of our customers – specifically older customers and those buying for friends or family with diabetes – prefer the reassurance of specifically developed diabetic products.”