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.
Since April, Brazilian consumers will have access to a digital educational platform dedicated to explaining how to read and understand the information on food labels. Olho na Lupa, composed of the website http://www.olhonalupa.com.br and profiles on social networks, is an initiative of 11 associations representing the food and beverage and retail industry.
The study aimed to evaluate consumers’ perception of self-service foods’ nutrition labels. This qualitative and quantitative assessment was performed with potential consumers at food services. Four food labeling formats, traditional, simplified, traffic-light, and warning, were proposed to evaluate three types of sandwiches: simple, chicken, and hamburger. Data were collected via an online survey from April to May 2020. The study included 413 subjects. The respondents preferred the traffic-light format, but there was a good understanding and acceptability of all four models. The traffic-light and warning nutrition labeling models, which showed health warnings, led to a reduction in the choice of the Simple Sandwich and the Hamburger. Most respondents (96.1%, n = 397) agreed that it is necessary to complement the information on food labels with ingredients and the number of calories per serving. Therefore, it is essential to have legislation regulating such issues. Consumers’ choices improved with the increase in the information placed on the products.
Due to non-compliance with the labeling for prepackaged food and non-alcoholic beverages, the Federal Consumer Protection Office (Profeco in Spanish) immobilized more than 380,000 products, mainly Kellogg’s brand cereals, the agency reported. Profeco explained that together with the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris in Spanish) they carried out the first joint operation of the year to verify the correct application of NOM-051, related to food labeling to alert the population about the excessive content of nutrients in products.