The Latin American region has been a pioneer in the implementation of a front- of-pack warning labeling system (FOPWL), which has demonstrated its efficacy and effectiveness in correctly identifying when a product contains excessive amounts of nutrients associated with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). However, countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA); which includes Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic, have no adopted it. For this reason, the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama convened a group of experts from academia and civil society with the aim of establishing an evidence-based technical position, in relation to front-of-pack labelling for critical nutrients of pre-packaged foods and beverages in the Central American region. Specific evidence from the SICA region demonstrating the superiority of FOPWL over other labels such as the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA), the traffic light and Nutriscore to select healthier choices is presented. Within the framework of children's and consumer rights, arguments are provided, and a call is made to governments for the prompt adoption of FOPWL as a cost-effective policy for the prevention of NCDs. In addition, recommendations for its monitoring and evaluation are provided, as well as recommendations for other cost-effective policies such as the regulation of unhealthy food advertising aimed at children and adolescents, among others, for the prevention of NCDs and the creation ofhealthier and more sustainable environments and food systems.
Author(s): Kroker-Lobos, M., Ramírez-Zea, M., De-León, J.R., Alfaro, C, et.al.
Published in: ARCHIVOS LATINOAMERICANOS DE NUTRICIÓN