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Open AccessArticle

Supermarket Circulars Promoting the Sales of ‘Healthy’ Foods: Analysis Based on Degree of Processing

Graduate Program in Nutrition, Nutrition in Foodservice Research Centre, Federal University of Santa Catarina, University Campus João David Ferreira Lima-Trindade, Florianópolis, SC 88040-900, Brazil
Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5DL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2877;
Received: 27 July 2020 / Revised: 26 August 2020 / Accepted: 27 August 2020 / Published: 21 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Labeling: Analysis, Understanding, and Perception)
The health and wellness food sector grew 98% from 2009 to 2014 in Brazil, the world’s fourth-biggest market. The trend has reached supermarket circulars, which recently started to feature whole sections advertising health and wellness-enhancing foods. This study identified food items advertised in circulars’ specific sections of two Brazilian supermarket chains (one regional, one national) during a 10-week period. Foods were classified according to degree of food processing and presence/type of claims on their front-of-pack (FoP) labels. Comparison between groups of Unprocessed/Minimally Processed foods vs. Ultra-processed foods and presence/type of claims employed Pearson chi-square test. From the 434 alleged health and wellness-enhancing foods advertised, around half (51.4%) were classified as Ultra-processed. Presence of reduced and increased nutrient-content claims was significantly higher in labels of Ultra-processed foods. Most frequent claims addressed sugar and fibre content. Brazilian supermarket circulars were found to be promoting the sale of Ultra-processed foods in their health and wellness sections, leading to a situation that can mislead the consumer and bring negative health outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: supermarket circulars; ultra-processed; food label; health claims supermarket circulars; ultra-processed; food label; health claims
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MDPI and ACS Style

Botelho, A.M.; Milbratz de Camargo, A.; Medeiros, K.J.; Irmão, G.B.; Dean, M.; Fiates, G.M.R. Supermarket Circulars Promoting the Sales of ‘Healthy’ Foods: Analysis Based on Degree of Processing. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2877.

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