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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:383-6.

The Choices programme: a simple, front-of-pack stamp making healthy choices easy.

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  • 1Unilever Food and Health Research Institute, Unilever R&D Vlaardingen, Olivier van Noortlaan, AT Vlaardingen, Netherlands.

Abstract

Some food products fit better within a healthy diet than others, but how can consumers tell? The Choices programme is a simple and internationally-applicable programme to help consumers make a healthy choice on food and beverages and to stimulate industry towards healthy product innovation in all food groups. The essence of the programme is a front-of-pack stamp on products that pass an evaluation against scientific criteria. To that end generic criteria have been established for levels of saturated fat, trans fat, sugars and sodium, which are based on international dietary guidelines (FAO/WHO). For some food categories there are specific criteria for these nutrients as well as for dietary fibre and calories. In this way the criteria are challenging without being impossible to meet. The programme has been initiated by food industry and is open to all companies in food industry, retail and catering. The approach is also supported by nutritional scientists, governments and NGOs. An independent scientific committee is responsible for designing and periodically reviewing the qualifying criteria. The current qualifying criteria were developed by scientific committees in the Netherlands and Belgium. These criteria will now be reviewed by an International Scientific Committee, consisting of internationally-recognised food and nutrition experts. To accommodate the developments in nutrition science and food technology, this review will take place every two years.

PMID:
18296385
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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