This guidance provides questions and answers on the use of Dietary Guidance Statements on packaged food labels or in the labeling of conventional foods. It is intended to provide our current thinking on the use of Dietary Guidance Statements (i.e., statements relating a food or food group to a nutritious dietary pattern defined in greater detail in Q&A III.1) on packaged food labels and more broadly in the labeling of foods, including any written, printed, or graphic material accompanying a food, such as labeling on websites.
Panama – Food labeling in Panama: a forgotten issue in the National Assembly
While 3.5 million Panamanians, out of a population of 4.4 million, are overweight and one in five is obese, according to official figures, the issue of front labeling of processed foods, in order to know their nutrients, is not even being discussed in the National Assembly.
Yaidelis González, alternate deputy and proponent of the “front labeling of nutritional warning” bill, said that it is in a legislative subcommittee, “which has only met once”.
“Unfortunately, it has not been a priority of the commission to discuss” the bill, she acknowledged.
Article – Sweetener purchases in Chile before and after implementing a policy for food labeling, marketing, and sales in schools
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).
To assess the changes in NNS and caloric-sweetened (CS) products purchased after the law’s first phase.
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.
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.
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.
Mexico – Foreign academics send letter to Supreme Court in support of food labeling
Researchers and academics from universities in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Europe, among other countries, sent a letter to the justices of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) to express their support for front warning labeling on food and beverages.
They pointed out that it is one of the most effective measures to reverse overweight and obesity; more than 30 researches and controlled trials in Israel, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico have demonstrated that the health provision contributes to reduce the intake of sugar, salt and added saturated fats.
Costa Rica: Warning octagons are the most effective front-of-food labeling system in Costa Rica, according to study
A study conducted by Asociación Costa Rica Saludable, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), showed that warning octagons are the most effective nutrition labeling system to correctly identify food products that are less harmful to health and to influence purchasing decisions.