Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 19

E16-04 - Comparative analysis of the classification of food products in the Mexican market according to seven different Nutrient Profiles.

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective:To compare the degree of strictness between nutrient profiling systems (NPS) relevant for the Latin-American region by applying them in the Mexican context.

Methods.A sample of 2,544 foods and beverages (dairy products, sweetened beverages, salty snacks, breakfast cereals and ready-made foods) available in the Mexican market were classified according to seven NPS: Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion (NPSC), PAHO model, Health Star Rating (HSR), Mexican Nutritional Seal (MNS), Choices Mexico, Chilean warning octagons (year 1 nutritional criteria) and Ecuador's Multiple Traffic Light (MTL). Chi-square tests were used to compare the percentage of foods complying with NPS nutritional criteria. Bivariate logistic regression models were used to compare the overall mean content of critical and non-critical nutrients between compliant and non-compliant foods according to each NPS.

Results.The proportion of Mexican foods classified as compliant varied greatly (i.e. from 50% for others), depending on the food category and the selected model. The strictest NPS were the PAHO model and the HSR, whereas the NPSC, the MNS and the Chilean octagons were the most permissive. For most NPS, except MNS and NPSC, a lower mean content of nutrients-to-limit was observed among compliant foods compared to non-compliant foods. The opposite was observed for nutrients-to-encourage, except for the Chilean octagons and Ecuador's MTL.

Conclusions.Important differences exist in the strictness of NPS. Models targeted or designed by food manufacturers may be less stringent than those based on scientific evidence. Results highlight the importance of evaluating thoroughly the underlying criteria of a model, especially those used as a reference for front-of-pack-labelling.

Funding Source: This work was supported by grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies, NIH R01DK108148, and INFORMAS IDRC. The authors have no competing interests.

CoAuthors: Alejandra Jauregui – National Institute of Public Health of Mexico; Jorge Vargas – National Institute of Public Health of Mexico; Juan Rivera – National Institute of Public Health of Mexico; Anabel Velasco – National Institute of Public Health of Mexico; Lizbeth Tolentino – National Institute of Public Health of Mexico; Simon Barquera – National Institute of Public Health

Alejandra Contreras

National Institute of Public Health of México
Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico