Article – Sweetener purchases in Chile before and after implementing a policy for food labeling, marketing, and sales in schools

Background

Chile’s landmark food labeling and advertising policy led to major reductions in sugar purchases. However, it is unclear whether this led to increases in purchases of nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS).

Objective

To assess the changes in NNS and caloric-sweetened (CS) products purchased after the law’s first phase.

Methods

Longitudinal data on food and beverage purchases from 2,381 households collected from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017 were linked to nutritional information and categorized into added sweetener groups (unsweetened, NNS-only, CS-only, or NNS with CS). Logistic random-effects models and fixed-effects models were used to compare the percentage of households purchasing products and the mean volume purchased by sweetener category to a counterfactual based on pre-regulation trends.

Findings

Compared with the counterfactual, the percentage of households purchasing any NNS beverages (NNS-only or NNS with CS) increased by 4.2 percentage points [pp] (95% CI 2.8 to 5.7; p<0.01). This increase was driven by households purchasing NNS-only beverages (12.1 pp, 95% CI 10.0 to 14.2; p<0.01). The purchased volume of beverages with any NNS increased by 25.4 mL/person/day (95% CI 20.1 to 30.7; p<0.01) or 26.5%. Relative to the counterfactual, there were declines of -5.9 pp in households purchasing CS-only beverages (95% CI -7.0 to -4.7; p<0.01). Regarding the types of sweeteners purchased, we found significant increases in the amounts of sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K, and steviol glycosides purchased from beverages. Among foods, differences were minimal.

Conclusion

The first phase of Chile’s law was associated with an increase in the purchases of beverages containing NNS and decreases in beverages containing CS, but virtually no changes in foods.

Article – Objective methods of estimation of the content of added sugars in foods, for its declaration in the Mandatory Nutritional Information and Frontal Labeling in Argentina

From the requirement of frontal labeling and declaration of the total and added sugar content in the mandatory nutritional information of packaged foods and non-alcoholic beverages, it becomes necessary to have the appropriate analytical tools to determine the added sugars to them, both for declaration by manufacturers and for use by control agencies. Since the analytical methods, both chemical and instrumental, do not allow discriminating between natural and added sugars, the objective of the work is to offer an adequate methodology for the estimation of the added sugar content, according to the definition of the current Argentine regulation, that allows to obtain safe, reliable results and within the established tolerance range. For its achievement, the use of calculations of material balances based on the content of total sugars and other analytically determined parameters and on composition tables that discriminate the content of sugars for fruits and vegetables is proposed. The proposed methods are applicable to fruit preserves, yogurt and other fermented milk, preserves such as jams, sweets, fruits in syrup and candied, etc., and milk jelly.