The Food Supply Prior to the Implementation of the Chilean Law of Food Labeling and Advertising.Nutrients. 2018 Dec 28; 11(1)N
This study aimed to evaluate the composition of the food supply ahead of the implementation of the Chilean Law of Food Labeling and Advertising (Law 20.606) in June 2016. The INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity/Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) Research, Monitoring and Action Support) framework for monitoring the composition of the food supply was used. The Law's initial (2016) and final (2019) limits were used to evaluate if foods would receive a "High in" warning for Calories, Sodium, Sugars and/or Saturated Fats (initial/final, solids: >350/275 kcal; >800/400 mg; >22.5/10 g; >6/4 g; liquids: >100/70 kcal; >100/100 mg; >6/5 g; >3/3 g respectively). Foods were excluded if they required reconstitution, had missing information or if total labeled energy was estimated as incorrect (n = 942). In February 2015 and 2016, fieldworkers photographed a purposeful sample of packaged food and beverage products (n = 5421 and n = 5479) from 6 different supermarkets in Santiago, Chile. Seven percent of foods had no added critical nutrients (n = 720). Two-thirds of products had critical nutrients exceeding at least one initial limit indicative of a "high in" warning. Under the final phase limits, only 17% of foods would have zero warning labels. By 2019, 10 of the 17 food and beverage categories studied are predicted to have less than half of their products without a high in sodium warning label. While 8 of the 17 categories studied are predicted to have less than half their products without a high in total sugars or a high in total calories warning label, respectively; while even fewer food and beverage categories are predicted to be without a high in saturated fat warning label. Most products will have to be reformulated to avoid at least one front-of-package warning label.