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The Heart Foundation today announced plans to dump its tick from takeaway foods, citing unfair advantage for companies such as McDonalds over small takeaway outlets that can’t afford the accreditation fees. The tick will still be available to supermarket food manufacturers. So what does the tick actually mean? And does it improve consumer decisions? Professor Sandra Jones, the Director of the Centre for Health Initiatives at the University of Wollongong, explains: The Heart Foundation tick is perceived by consumers to mean a product is healthy. But it’s more complicated than that. The tick means a product is healthier than other options but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy in its own right. A meat pie, for example, can get a tick if it’s lower in fat and salt than other meat pies, but it doesn’t mean this is a healthy food that should be chosen over a salad.
Jones, S. C. (2011). Fast food loses tick but can the Heart Foundation regain its credibility?. The Conversation, 21 September 1-3.