Article – Ecuador: Public Policies, Traffic Light Signpost Labeling, and Their Implications: The Case of Ecuador

This study analyzes the traffic light signpost labeling that is included in processed foods, through which consumers are informed about added fat, sugar, and salt levels. At the same time, the awareness and use that the public make of this labeling, introduced by the Ecuadorian government as part of their Good Living health program, was also studied. A questionnaire was given to some 419 students from Ambato, Ecuador of both genders and from different economic circumstances. Subsequently, a descriptive analysis of the collected data was carried out, and through inferential statistics, relationships were established between the responses to the questionnaire and the factors identified. The results showed that most people are aware of traffic light signpost labeling at the time of purchase, although some consumers tend to mistakenly associate the indicators (green, yellow, red) with the food-hazard levels of the products. The opinions surveyed demonstrated a vague meaning and usefulness associated with the traffic light system.