The drastic growth of the population diagnosed with obesity and its associated pathologies in developed countries requires practical and sustainable solutions. Front packaging labelling (FoPL) is an efficient strategy to help consumers choose healthier choices when doing their food shopping. Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó and Dr. Nancy Babio, researchers from the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute (IISPV), the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) and the Biomedical Network Center Physiopathology of Nutrition and Obesity (CIBEROBN), collaborated in an international study where 1,000 Spanish consumers were recruited to evaluate 5 existing types of FoPL.
Participants were then randomized to one of the five types of FoPLs, and were requested to rank the same sets of products again, this time with a given FoPL displayed on the package. Changes in ability to correctly rank products according to FoPLs were compared between both tasks using ordinal logistic regression. Nutri-Score emerged as the most efficient FoPL in conveying information on the nutritional quality of foods among Spanish consumers.
Nutri-Score classifies products in 5 categories based on nutritional quality (A, B, C, D and E) each one, associated with 5 different colours. It is hoped that this new type of tools will help in tackling the obesity pandemic by educating consumers towards healthy choices.
The results of the works have been published at the Endocrinology Diabetes Nutrition journal: Galan P, Egnell M, Salas-Salvadó J, Babio N, Pettigrew S, Hercberg S, Julia C, Understanding of different front-of-package labels by the Spanish population: Results of a comparative study, Endocrinol Diabetes Nutr. 2019, pii: S2530-0164(19)30109-0.