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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2018 Nov;26(11):1670-1671. doi: 10.1002/oby.22318.

Nutrient-Based Warning Labels May Help in the Pursuit of Healthy Diets.

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Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


In this commentary we argue that the newest paradigm of front-of-package labels, represented by the characteristics found in the Chilean warning label, has the greatest potential to promote healthy diets compared with the Keyhole symbol, the multiple traffic light label, the Health Star Ratings system, and the 5-Color Nutrition label. Warning labels: (1) are consistent in the information they communicate; (2) discourage the purchase and consumption of noncore foods that characterize unhealthy diets; (3) are more likely to reinforce other regulatory measures; and (4) are more likely to encourage reformulation and are less likely to be used as a marketing tool by the food industry. Ongoing empirical evaluation of the impact of warning labels on consumer behavior and product reformulation is essential.


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