Product labelling

A bowl of fruit and vegetables
© UNICEF/UNI109480/Pirozzi

Over the past decades a dramatic shift has occurred in the way the entire global population eats, drinks and moves.

New access to food technologies (e.g., packed foods, modern supermarkets, food marketing) and increased consumption of processed foods are changing diets globally. This has contributed to a rising overweight and obesity prevalence.

In response to the rising rates of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), policies have emerged that focus on improving the diets of populations using strategies such as nutrition and food labelling. Nutrition food labels appear on products to provide consumers with information regarding the nutrient content and declarations of health benefits packaged food products may have.

FOP food labelling has ben identified by nutrition researchers around the world as a relevant intervention that can contribute to healthier diets. This is of particular importance in low and middle-income countries where 80% of the deaths due to NCDs occur, and especially in the Americas region where there is the highest obesity prevalence in the world and little or no progress has been documented in decreasing the trends of NCDs risk factors. This strategy has been demonstrated to be effective at informing consumers to make healthier choices including those who are nutritionally at risk. However, evidence of healthier choices using a particular FOP food labelling system is still inconclusive, especially on products addressed to children and adolescents.

Download the following for a Review of current labelling regulations and practices for food and beverages targeting children and adolescents in Latin American countries (Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Argentina) and recommendations for facilitating consumer information. [PDF]