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Article

Looking Ahead: Health Impact Assessment of Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labelling Schema as a Public Health Measure

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Instituto de Saúde Ambiental (ISAMB), Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Professor Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal
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Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Avenida das Forças Armadas, 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal
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Unbreakable Idea Research, 2550-426 Painho, Portugal
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Direção-Geral da Saúde, Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques, 1000-123 Lisboa, Portugal
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Programa Nacional para a Promoção da Alimentação Saudável, Direção-Geral da Saúde, Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques, 1000-123 Lisboa, Portugal
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Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação da Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal
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Laboratório de Biomatemática, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Professor Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal
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Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa, Avenida Professor Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gabriel Gulis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041422
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 27 January 2021 / Accepted: 28 January 2021 / Published: 3 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health in EIA/SEA)
This study aimed to describe the underlying process, used methods and major recommendations emerging from a comprehensive and prospective health impact assessment of the endorsement of a front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOP-NL) system by the Portuguese health authorities. A mixed-methods approach was used to gather information on the impact of four FOP-NL schemes on consumers’ selection of food products according to the perception of their nutritional quality, combining a systematic literature review, focus groups (FG), in-depth individual interviews, and an open-label crossover randomized controlled study. The relevance of FOP-NL as a public health promotion policy has emerged as a consensual idea among either FGs’ participants (i.e., consumers and experts), or interviewed stakeholders. Although all of the evaluated FOP-NLs result better than no system on promoting the choice of the healthiest product, the effectiveness of easy-to-interpret FOP-NL among vulnerable groups raised concerns related to the need of integrating specific nutritional information to promote a better self-management of chronic diseases, and related to the level of literacy of consumers, which could impair the usage of FOP-NL. Educational campaigns addressing skills to use FOP-NL is recommended. Furthermore, a monitoring strategy should be considered to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of this policy in promoting healthier food choices, and in reducing diet-related non-communicable diseases burden. View Full-Text
Keywords: food labelling; front-of-pack labelling; nutrition policy; health impact assessment; health literacy; health equity food labelling; front-of-pack labelling; nutrition policy; health impact assessment; health literacy; health equity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Feteira-Santos, R.; Alarcão, V.; Santos, O.; Virgolino, A.; Fernandes, J.; Vieira, C.P.; João Gregório, M.; Nogueira, P.; Costa, A.; Graça, P. Looking Ahead: Health Impact Assessment of Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labelling Schema as a Public Health Measure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1422. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041422

AMA Style

Feteira-Santos R, Alarcão V, Santos O, Virgolino A, Fernandes J, Vieira CP, João Gregório M, Nogueira P, Costa A, Graça P. Looking Ahead: Health Impact Assessment of Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labelling Schema as a Public Health Measure. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):1422. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041422

Chicago/Turabian Style

Feteira-Santos, Rodrigo, Violeta Alarcão, Osvaldo Santos, Ana Virgolino, João Fernandes, Carlota Pacheco Vieira, Maria João Gregório, Paulo Nogueira, Andreia Costa, and Pedro Graça. 2021. "Looking Ahead: Health Impact Assessment of Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labelling Schema as a Public Health Measure" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 1422. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041422

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