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J Int Med Res. 2010 Mar-Apr;38(2):318-85.

Nutritional profiles in a public health perspective: a critical review.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


Nutritional profiling is defined as 'the science of categorizing foods according to their nutritional composition' and it is useful for food labelling and regulation of health claims. The evidence for the link between nutrients and health outcomes was reviewed. A reduced salt intake reduces blood pressure, but only a few randomized controlled trials have verified the effect of salt on overall and cardiovascular mortality. Evidence linking a reduced fat intake with cardiovascular mortality and obesity is generally non-significant. Studies that have examined the relationship between obesity and diet have produced contrasting results. A simulation exercise that demonstrated that the impact of a reduced salt and fat intake on overall mortality would be negligible in the European population was carried out. Consideration of the literature and the results of this simulation exercise suggest that the introduction of nutritional profiles in Europe would be expected to have a very limited impact on health outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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