Global Update on Nutrition Labeling

hızlı yemek yemek

The 2018 report of the global update on nutrition labeling (EUFIC, Brussels, July 19, 2018) give an up-to-date, comprehensive snapshot of the situation worldwide. In this report, European Food Information Council (EUFIC) presents answers to the following questions in cooperation with Landmark Council and numerous nutrition organizations from all around the world.

• What are the initiatives that have been applied so far or ongoing implementations on basic nutrition labeling?

• How are these initiatives working? How does it work and how do stakeholders evaluate it?

• What do discussions and researches say about the current issue?

Highlights from the 2018 report

• Nutrition labeling initiatives continue to spread globally in both the governmental and private sector. In the Asia-Pacific region, stars and positive logos are used in on labels, while South American countries prefers health warnings. Western Europe uses the traffic lights model, while positive logos are preferred in Asia, Africa, Northern and Eastern Europe.

• Nutrition labeling policies should be based on science. The main question is which nutritional information could be appropriate and understandable for the consumer? Thus, motivated consumers may be willing to improve their nutritional habits. Researchers and stakeholders show interest the consumers’ nutritional choices of food that will help balanced nutrition. Important point in this perspective is the whole diet, not a single food or product.

• The adoption and acceptance the FOP model (Front of Package - labeling model that provide concise and clear information about the food to encourage consumers to make healthier choices) which is a harmonized format by the European Union, and labeling regulations at the national level by England and France raises also the question of government support can affect international trade, while showing how important it is in the credibility of the projects.

• Nutrition labeling policies should consider the perceptions and behaviors of consumers on different labeling practices, but the main question is how these policies affect food choices and diets. The consumer research section of the report also states that perception and behaviors vary between countries and consumer groups. Most researches on the FOP model was carried out in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, studies are needed in other regions to better understand local consumer behaviors.

• In the discussion of food labels, there were more comments about what consumers liked, rather than what affects consumer preferences. Some studies have shown that the presence of nutritional value/quality or health logos on labels significantly affect the choice and purchasing behavior of consumers. These data are supported by consumer studies in Europe and Australia, which show that different labeling practices may be equally effective on making healthier choices, but it is unclear how they impact on purchasing behavior in the short-term

Which topics needed to be searched?

• Do consumers make healthier choices in the long-term connected with nutritional information/ statements on the packages?

• How should nutrition labeling regulations be standardized to help the consumers gain healthy eating habits? While the researches of Europe FLABEL (Food Labeling to Advance Better Education for Life), EUFIC and The Surrey Food Consumer Behavior and Health Research Centre and Australian Heart Foundation organizations, suggest that different labeling regulations can be equally effective for consumers to make healthier choices, there are also some groups which advocate that standardized food labels should be mandatory

• Is it useful to label un-packaged foods? The menu labeling discussion also moved from USA to Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and Asia. Although menu labeling researches has increased in recent years, it has been limited to the agenda of major Europe, North America and Australia countries. • How can new technologies can be used effectively to encourage healthy choices? According to researches, consumer tend to check information on online purchase less than in the store.

Sabri Ülker Foundation