How three countries in the Americas are fortifying dietary salt reduction: A north and south perspective
ABSTRACT A chronic disease/risk factor prevention framework with three policy environments--communications, physical and economic--was used to organize population level interventions that address the "over consumption of dietary salt", a key risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The framework was then used to map the population based strategies to reduce dietary salt consumption being applied in three countries in the Americas--Argentina, Canada and Chile--each with a history of multi-sector approaches to deal with the risk factors for chronic disease, offering a north versus south perspective. Results show that in all three countries policy instruments are concentrated in the communications environment, e.g., media and education campaigns and/or regulations for standardized information on the salt or sodium content of packaged food products. Notable gaps are the requirement for nutrient information on meals and food items prepared by food establishments and restrictions on advertising and marketing of foods to children. In the physical environment, referring to the sodium levels in commercially prepared foods and meals available on the market, voluntary reformulation of food products is underway at this time in the three countries. Argentina and Chile began with bread and have gradually added other food categories; Canada at the outset is addressing all food categories where products have added salt. Argentina alone is at this point actively approaching regulations to limit the salt content of food, preferring this over ongoing monitoring of voluntary targets. No government in the three counties has yet considered action in the economic environment, a complex area where the research on and initiatives to limit or disadvantage energy-dense food products to address obesity may also capture foods that are highly salted. In the meantime, with recent research estimating substantially higher gains in population health from government legislation to limit salt in foods compared to voluntary approaches, decision makers in countries, whether in the north or south, committed to reducing dietary salt can take Argentina's example to strengthen their interventions in the physical environment with regulatory instruments. This will sustain reformulations made to date, "level the playing field" industry-wide and broadly and equitably distribute the health benefits of low salt foods.
SourceAvailable from: Javier Sanz-Valero[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Objective: To review the scientific literature related to the information given to consumers about different types of fats in foods through food labeling. Method: Systematic review of the data found in MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE, CINAHL, FSTA, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS and LILACS databasis, until September 2013. The terms used as descriptors and free text were “dietary fats”, “dietary fats, unsaturated” and “food labeling”. The limit “human” was used. Results: 549 references were retrieved, of which 36 articles were selected after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The main effects related to labeling information were linked to the price and place of purchase/ consumption, sensory dimensions, dietary habits, interpretation and education logo. Conclusions: Food labeling on fat content helps when making consumption decisions. Nutrition education and the meanings of food labels are essential and were effective although the “informed consumer” is yet to be achieved. Training activities should be directed towards prior beliefs and attitudes of consumers in order to make the health and nutrition message consistent. Food labels should be homogeneous and truthful in terms of expressing composition or presenting logos, and messages included in the packaging should be clear and not misleading.Nutricion hospitalaria: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Nutricion Parenteral y Enteral 01/2015; 31(1):129-142. DOI:10.3305/nh.2015.31.1.8396 · 1.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Determine the extent to which labeling of food products informs about salt consumption. METHODS: A critical and systematic analysis was conducted of 9 studies selected out of a total of 133 studies. The studies were collected by reviewing the scientific literature on interventions conducted in the human population aimed towards reducing salt consumption through label messaging. All of the information was obtained by direct consultation and by Internet from the scientific literature collected in several databases. RESULTS: Out of the 133 articles recovered, after the inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, 9 studies were selected for review. All of them took into account the ability of the study population to interpret and understand salt content labeling in foods. CONCLUSIONS: Food consumers understand and value easily recognizable logos more than the information found on nutritional composition labels. Therefore, use of alternative logos that facilitate this information and are also standardized could be justified. This situation is reinforced because the inclusion of symbols that are easily understandable favors the most adequate choice by consumers.Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública 04/2012; 31(4):332-337. DOI:10.1590/S1020-49892012000400010 · 0.85 Impact Factor
03/2015; 10(1):71-3. DOI:10.1016/j.gheart.2014.12.006