ADOPT STANDARDS

ADOPT STANDARDS FOR LABELING AND MARKETING

IMPLEMENT STANDARDS FOR EFFECTIVE AND ACCURATE LABELLING AND MARKETING OF FOOD

Why it matters

Nutrition labelling refers to the disclosure of the main nutrients such as salt, fat, sugar and energy content on the label of a food product. Labelling can also give a rating of whether a food has high or low content of a particular nutrient or set of nutrients, and can warn consumers about foods that are high in an unhealthy nutrient (e.g. sodium). Clear labelling systems that enable consumers to understand the salt content of foods quickly and easily are key to enabling consumers to make properly informed healthy choices when purchasing foods in stores and restaurants. Additionally, standards should be implemented to prevent marketing and labelling that misrepresents salty foods as healthy options because they contain beneficial amounts of other nutrients. Clear and non-misleading labelling has its greatest impact when applied alongside a comprehensive education, communication and marketing campaign to inform and educate consumers.

What needs to be done

A number of labelling strategies can be used to support salt reduction. Different countries have used different strategies depending on the level of existing labelling, cultural norms and consumer preferences.SHAKE has collected sample strategies that countries have successfully used to improve consumer awareness of, and labelling clarity on, salt content. The strategies range from salt warning labels and front-of-pack colourcoded labelling systems (depicted right) to measures aimed at ensuring that labelling and marketing is accurate and non-misleading. SHAKE provides guidance on how to adapt these labelling strategies from one context to another, and on how to integrate them into existing nutrition labelling systems in use in a country.

Example of interpretive front-of-pack “colour code” labelling system