The International Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels Webinar 2018 was a huge success with impressive presentations, lively discussions between the audience of health professionals, consumers and our high-level speakers from various countries and sectors. This interaction offered an interdisciplinary insight into front of package labeling approach and its potential implementations.

Over 200 people attended the webinars and over 9'000 peole have been reached through livestrem. If you have missed the Webinar or would like to watch it again, it is avaliable on our YouTube channel.

We thanks all speakers for their contribution: Michael Moore, Mike Rayner, Lorena Rodríguez Osiac, Mary L’Abbé, Chantal Julia, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Rebecca Boustead and Marta Lomazzi (speakers presentations available clicking on the corresponding name). 

At the end of the webinars WFPHA has released a Call to Action, supported by all the Webinar speakers, to encourage governments to take action and make the healthy food choice the easy choice. Additionally, WFPHA encourages support for strong, effective FoPL systems that play a role in improving population health through improved nutrition and a more open, effective, and readily understood system identifying the healthiness of packaged food.

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Event

Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death and disability globally. Worldwide obesity has almost tripled since 1975, and the majority of the world's population live in countries where being overweight and obesity kill more than being underweight. Unprecedented availability of pre-packaged foods - often high in salt, harmful fats, added sugars and energy - is a key driver of obesity and diet-related disease. Front-of-pack nutrition labels (FoPL) present simplified nutrition information on the main (front panel of pre-packaged foods to aid consumer understanding of the nutritional quality of products. There is promising evidence these kinds of labels can assist consumers to make healthier choices and also stimulate manufacturers to reformulate recipes, improving the healthiness of the food supply overall. FoPL are recommended by the World Health Organization as an evidence-based policy to promote healthier diets. While not a complete source of dietary advice, FoPL is recognised as a helpful tool to use in conjunction with complementary interventions such as food-based dietary guidelines aimed at improving the overall nutritional quality of diets. They are also aligned with several initiatives running at national and global levels to protect consumer health, prevent obesity and NCDs and promote health and wellbeing, as highlighted in the WFPHA Global Charter for the Public's Health. At least 16 diverse FoPL systems are operating in 23 countries and with another 14 schemes proposed. FoPL has been implemented in a variety of designs, providing information ranging from the content of single nutrients to the nutritional quality of products overall; providing positive and/or negative judgements (e.g. endorsement logos, nutrient-based warning lables); implemented under voluntary or mandatory arrangements; and led by a variety of government, industry and civil society actors.

This webinar will draw upon insights from FoPL developments to date. Including:

  • The United Kingdom’s ‘Traffic Light’ scheme, which has been implemented voluntarily since 2013, rates products as red, amber or green based on the quantity of salt, sugar or fat contained in the products. Traffic lights now appears on about one third of food sold.
  • The Australia and New Zealand’s Health Star Rating system has been implemented voluntarily since 2014 following a multi-stakeholder process of development led by government and involving the food industry, consumer and public health groups. It uses an algorithm to score packaged food based on nutritional quality from ½ to 5 stars in the same manner as movies or hotels. The system is currently undergoing review, with consideration being given to matters including whether to make it mandatory.
  • The France’s ‘Nutri-Score’ system, which was adopted in October 2017 after four years of research, ranks foods from A (Green) to E (Red). EU requirements also demand the scheme operate on a voluntary basis.
  • The Chile’s mandatory ‘stop-sign’ warnings requires warnings to be placed on foods that exceed pre-determined thresholds for salt, sugar, saturated fat and/or energy. Implementing regulations contain thresholds, which will become more stringent over time, and also link warning label status to restrictions on marketing.

 

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Examples of FoPL from the UK, Australia, Chile and France.


In several countries, schemes have come under media criticism for allegedly inappropriate scores received by individual foods. In the UK and France, industry have launched extensive programs to discredit government-endorsed systems. In Australia, the system has been criticized by public health advocates. They believe in the current voluntary form, which is disproportionately used as a marketing tool for industry.

Where countries have imposed mandatory requirements such as those in Chile and Ecuador, concerns have been raised in the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade over whether these labels create unnecessary barriers to international trade.

The WHO has initiated work on the development of Guiding Principles on FoPL. The Codex Alimentarius Commission – the international food standards agency – has also now agreed to commence work to provide further international guidance on FoPL. The World Federation of Public Health Associations has recently become an observer to this process, realizing the significance of having strong public health nutrition input.

The webinar, led by the WFPHA, will draw on experts’ input to offer insight into how effective schemes may be designed and implemented, and provide tools on how to lead effective advocacy within this context.

Confirmed Speakers

 

Programme

Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels Webinar Programme

Chair: Michael Moore AM: Immediate Past President World Federation of Public Health Associations

First Hour

Speakers Topics
Michael Moore (Australia) Introduction to FoPL as policy to promote healthier diets
Mike Rayner (UK) Traffic Light system in UK
Mary L’Abbe (Canada) FOPL policies in Canada
Chantal Julia (France) Nutriscore system in France
Cliona NiMhurchu (New Zealand) Health Stars system in Australia and New Zealand
Lorena Rodriguez Osiac (Chile) Food warning labels regulation in Chile
Rebecca Boustead (Australia) Industry engagement in FoPL

Panel discussion with speakers chaired by Michael Moore

Second Hour

Discussion

  • Pre-asked questions
  • Live questions
Speakers Topics
Marta Lomazzi (WFPHA) Concluding Remarks

Sponsorship

Disclaimer

The speakers for the Front of Pack Labelling (FoPL) Webinar, with the exception of the industry representative, have not received funding from nor been employed/contracted by any food company.

To achieve public health goals and to have the strongest possible impact at times require appropriate engagement with a wide range of actors. With this in mind the FoPL Webinar convenors selected a person from one company that has been engaged in implementing a voluntary FoPL system and also accepted financial support from that company.

However, this ought not to be construed as support by the World Federation of Public Health Associations or any of the other speakers for that company or of any specific product.

Sponsors and Supporters

If you are interested in partnering or sponsoring the webinar, please refer to our booklet or contact Marta Lomazzi ().

Thank you to our sponsors!

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Gold Sponsor Profile

Kellogg Company

 

 

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