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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

URQUIAGA, Inés et al. Assessment of the reliability of food labeling in Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2014, vol.142, n.6, pp.775-781. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872014000600012.

Background: Nutrition labeling is a tool that helps people to make healthy choices when choosing foods and drinks for consumption. Easy to understand information promotes rational choices. However the implementation of this information by industry and their proper use by consumers is complex. A key aspect is the existence of appropriate laws and regulations. Fortunately, Chile has a mandatory guideline for labeling packed food products. Though, the correctness of the information appearing in the label is essential. Aim: To evaluate the veracity of nutritional information appearing on food labels in our country. Material and Methods: We tabulated the information on the labels of over 1,000 packed products and analyzed it using globally accepted tables as reference. We included cereals, vegetables, fruits and juices, nuts, legumes, dairy, fish and shellfish, meat, oils and fats and sweets. Results: Ninety percent of the information appearing in the labels of analyzed products was presumably correct. However, there were great variations among food groups. Conclusions: This information allowed evaluate the application of the Food Health Regulations reform implemented in 2006, specifically Article 115. The possible improvements to achieve the original aims of the initiative are discussed.

Keywords : Dietary carbohidrates; Dietary fat; Dietary proteins; Food labeling; Government regulation.

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