Chips And Coke Healthier Than UK Cheddar Says Brussels

Story By: Koen Berghuis, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

Brussels bureaucrats have launched a bizarre nutrition ranking system which claims that pizza, chips and Coca Cola are healthier than British cheddar cheese.

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Picture Credits: CEN & CEN/Colruyt & CEN/Delhaize

Belgium’s bonkers rating system in – which is based on Britain’s – has also claimed that soft drinks and fast food are as good for you as a crispy quinoa salad.

Furthermore, a sugary bottle of Coca Cola was put in the same category as quinoa salad, described as “a light meal containing fruit and vegetable appropriate for vegetarians”.

The bizarre Belgium ‘Nutri Score’ system was launched earlier this week by Health Minister Maggie de Block and is marked “the first label that is proven to help consumers buy healthier foods”.

The score consists of five letters, from the healthiest category ‘A’ in dark green colours to the least nutritional category ‘E’ in red.

Frozen chips, which supermarket customers fry at home, scores an A while the quinoa salad only scored a B.

Besides Coca Cola, other foods which scored a B and are therefore considered as healthy as a quinoa salad, according to the Belgian rating system, are a pizza margherita, microwave macaroni and cheese, and a raspberry sorbet.

Meanwhile, British cheddar cheese was placed in the orange-coloured ‘D’ category.

The study was carried out by the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Unit (Eren) who reportedly developed a special algorithm to rate each product.

It takes into account positive aspects of each food such as protein, fibre, fruits, vegetables and nuts, as well as negative factors such as the amount of sugar, saturated fats and salt.

According to Eren, the formula to calculate the nutritional score is based on that of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK.

Netizens, however, seemed sceptical. One wrote: “Somehow I woke up in this weird parallel universe where a Council of Enlightened Overlords has just figured out that a lunch of wild salmon would ruin my body and cause cosmic disaster. I guess it’s better to have a box of them fibre-loaded ‘Honey balls’ [cereal].”

Another netizen wrote: “Let’s go healthy tomorrow, chips and fried spring rolls.”

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Koen Berghuis

Editor of DACHS / Benelux desk for Central European News, roving correspondent with a penchant for travel, culture, geopolitics, history and the in-depth story behind the headlines.

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