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QUALITATIVE EVALUATION:
THE ECUADORIAN TRAFFIC LIGHT LABEL
FOR PROCESSED FOODS
Wilma B. Freire PhD
BACKGROUND
2
Source: Freire WB., et al. (2014). Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición de la población ecuatoriana de cero...
THE FOOD LABEL POLICY
1. Establishes cut-off points for high, medium, and low
concentrations of added fat, sugar, and salt...
OBJECTIVES
General:
Evaluates consumer perceptions, use, and understanding of the nutritional
label for processed foods.
S...
FOCUS GROUPS
Selection and distribution: 21 groups organized according to:
• Region (9 highlands, 10 coast, 2 Eastern lowl...
Adaptation or
compensation
strategies related
to processed foods
and the traffic light
label
Drink water
Consume
smaller a...
KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS
1. Opposition to the traffic light label
 Difficulties in implementation: insufficient time allo...
STRUCTURED OBSERVATIONS
Information was collected on different ways that the label is
applied in practice: products sold i...
Conclusions:
1. The Ecuadorian traffic light label provides nutritional
information that is easily understood by consumers...
" QUALITATIVE  EVALUATION:   THE ECUADORIAN  TRAFFIC  LIGHT  LABEL  FOR  PROCESSED  FOODS Wilma B. Freire PhD "
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" QUALITATIVE EVALUATION: THE ECUADORIAN TRAFFIC LIGHT LABEL FOR PROCESSED FOODS Wilma B. Freire PhD "

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"www.fao.org/about/meetings/sustainable-food-systems-nutrition-symposium

The International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition was jointly held by FAO and WHO in December 2016 to explore policies and programme options for shaping the food systems in ways that deliver foods for a healthy diet, focusing on concrete country experiences and challenges. This Symposium waas the first large-scale contribution under the UN Decade of Action for Nutrition 2016-2025. This presentation was part of Parallel session 2.1: Regulations, awareness and advocacy for better informed food choices"

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" QUALITATIVE EVALUATION: THE ECUADORIAN TRAFFIC LIGHT LABEL FOR PROCESSED FOODS Wilma B. Freire PhD "

  1. 1. QUALITATIVE EVALUATION: THE ECUADORIAN TRAFFIC LIGHT LABEL FOR PROCESSED FOODS Wilma B. Freire PhD
  2. 2. BACKGROUND 2 Source: Freire WB., et al. (2014). Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición de la población ecuatoriana de cero a 59 años. ENSANUT-ECU 2012. Ministerio de Salud Pública/Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos. Quito, Ecuador 1 in 10 Ecuadorians between 50 and 50 has diabetes 3 in 10 school-age children are overweight or obese High blood pressure affects 22.7% of Ecuadorians between 50 and 59 2 of 3 Ecuadorians between 19 and 59 are overweight or obese In 2011 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic pulmonary disease accounted for 47.8% of deaths in Ecuadorians between 30 and 70 78.2% of women and 57.1% of men between 30 and 39 have a weight circumference greater than they should
  3. 3. THE FOOD LABEL POLICY 1. Establishes cut-off points for high, medium, and low concentrations of added fat, sugar, and salt. 2. Establishes the appearance and size of the traffic light label. 3. Requires additional information for energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, genetically modified ingredients, and non-caloric sweeteners and colorants. 3
  4. 4. OBJECTIVES General: Evaluates consumer perceptions, use, and understanding of the nutritional label for processed foods. Specific: 1. Analyze consumer perceptions related to consumption patterns and the traffic light label. 2. Evaluate understanding of information contained in the traffic light label among different population groups. 3. Explore how consumers use the traffic light label to make decisions regarding purchase and consumption of processed foods. 4
  5. 5. FOCUS GROUPS Selection and distribution: 21 groups organized according to: • Region (9 highlands, 10 coast, 2 Eastern lowlands), • Location (8 cities and towns divided by population size: major city, county, parish), • Sex (separate and mixed groups), • Age group: 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, and 20-64 years. Audio recording, transcription, and analysis using a 3-step coding procedure KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS • 8 structured interviews with representatives of manufacturers and commercial sector. • Large, medium, and small producers (including transnationals) and sellers (supermarkets, neighborhood shops) Interview notes and content analysis. STRUCTURED OBSERVATION • Collection and analysis of processed food and beverage packages and containers METODOLOGY 5
  6. 6. Adaptation or compensation strategies related to processed foods and the traffic light label Drink water Consume smaller amounts (a small bite, half a package) Decrease frequency of consumption Consume because of lack of healthy alternatives Preference for products labelled MEDIUM or LOW Avoid consumption because of specific conditions: diabetes, hypertension Consume to satisfy individual preferences Increase consumption of products with artificial sweeteners Stop consuming products labelled HIGH REDUCTION COMPENSATION REPLACEMENT NO CHANGE
  7. 7. KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS 1. Opposition to the traffic light label  Difficulties in implementation: insufficient time allowed to change packaging.  Information is not useful to consumers.  Consumers are not interested in the label.  Confusion between natural and added fat, sugar, and salt.  Label does not contribute to the underlying problem of overweight and obesity; processed foods are a small part of the diet.  Reduced sales of some products. 2. The GDA label provides more useful information. de tu ingesta diaria recomendada Valores típicos en 100g: Energía 756 kJ / 213 kcal Cada paquete contiene Energía Grasa Saturada Azúcar Sal Grasa 7
  8. 8. STRUCTURED OBSERVATIONS Information was collected on different ways that the label is applied in practice: products sold in supermarkets, shops, and kiosks. Some processed foods and drink containers reveal inconsistencies in the application of the regulation. 8
  9. 9. Conclusions: 1. The Ecuadorian traffic light label provides nutritional information that is easily understood by consumers, who use it to make decisions about purchase and consumption of processed foods. 2. The most important feature of the label is the simplicity of the graphic display of information about added fat, sugar, and salt. 3. Successful implementation of nutritional information must be accompanied by monitoring and evaluation components. 9

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