Etiquetado Claros

There are 31 different types of labels worldwide telling customers how much fat, salt and sugar there is in the food they buy, according to a 2019 BMJ study. There is plenty of other research evaluating which labels, including “traffic lights”, different colored nutrition tags and “healthy choice” ticks, are most effective at combating obesity. How to measure the food labels effectiveness: the Squeal Index! The greater the food companies’ fury about a new type of labeling, the better it probably is. By this standard, Mexico and Chile are on to a winner.

Last week, the Financial Times reported that Mexican shoppers would soon see large black labels on their food and beverages warning if they contained “too much sugar”, “too much fat” or “too many calories”. Some foods, such as crisps and biscuits, would carry all three labels. Mexico is following Chile whose black labels seem to have delivered results, including a 25 per cent fall in sugary drinks sales over the past year.

Health organizations, on the other side, lined up in support of the black labels. Juan Rivera, director-general of Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, said: “The industry hasn’t realized that we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic in Mexico.” He said that the World Health Organization and the World Public Health Nutrition Association also supported the labels.

The food industry in Mexico, as elsewhere, supports another labeling system: the one that tells consumers what percentage each food contains of their recommended daily allowance of fat, salt and sugar.

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