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WHO global nutrition director, Dr. Francesco Branca, called for a boost in sugar reduction in food products to add to the prevention of overweight and non-communicable diseases. The call was presented in a video message at the Choices International symposium at the Asian Congress on Nutrition ACN2019 on 6 August in Bali.

In his message, Dr. Branca stressed the importance to fight childhood obesity, particularly by a further reduction of sugar content in food products. Government policies should nudge the food industry in this direction by enforcing measures such as nutrition labelling, restriction of marketing to children and fiscal policies. “Easy-to-understand nutrition labels will positively influence consumer choices. Food manufacturers will adapt their recipes to get a positive logo or avoid a red flag”, he said.

The video message below was presented at the symposium Asian experiences with positive front-of-pack labelling, organized by the Choices International Foundation at the Asian Congress on Nutrition. Currently, four countries (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brunei) have successfully implemented a positive front-of-pack nutrition logo, i.e. the healthier Choice logo program. Additionally, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam are planning to put this program in action soon. Their governments trust the logos will have a substantial impact on both consumers purchasing behaviour and food product reformulation. The experience with 18 years of the Healthier Choices logo in Singapore shows a substantial decrease in sugar levels in different product categories.

For more information, please contact Rutger Schilpzand, Executive Director of the Choices International Foundation, email rutger.schilpzand@choicesprogramme.org, telephone +31 65 17 89 677.

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