Health Claims and Food Labelling
Chapter 11: Latin American Food Labelling: Review and Recent Developments
Published:03 Dec 2019
The problem of malnutrition has spread throughout the world, with more than three-quarters of non-communicable diseases (NCDs: diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc.) occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Latin American countries are also facing an epidemic of overweight and diet-driven NCDs, whilst problems associated with undernutrition are still a matter of significant concern. The epidemiology of Latin American countries is characterised predominately by all forms of malnutrition as well as a significant burden from NCDs. Moreover, there is increased manufacture and consumption of ultra-processed foods, high in sugars, saturated and trans fats and sodium, which are linked to poor diet and low micronutrient and protein intakes. Several calls for action have targeted structural measures to improve diets through better nutrition labelling (i.e. more visible and understandable). However, to date, only three countries have implemented mandatory front-of-package (FOP) labelling in the Latin American region (i.e. Mexico, Ecuador and Chile). This chapter focuses on use of FOP labelling in Latin America, as a tool for improving diets, communicating potential health benefits, and giving examples from countries that have implemented these approaches.