CitationPopkin, Barry M.; Barquera-Cervera, Simon; Corvalan, Camila; Hofman, Karen; Monteiro, Carlos Augusto; Ng, Shu Wen; Swart, Elizabeth C.; & Taillie, Lindsey Smith (Online ahead of print). Toward Unified and Impactful Policies for Reducing Ultra-Processed Food Consumption and Promoting Healthier Eating. Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
AbstractThe global increases in obesity and nutrition-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have created a need for major new food policy initiatives. A major concern has been the large impact of ultra-processed food and drink products on weight gain and the risk of several NCDs. These foods, generally high in energy and added sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats, and poor in fiber, protein, and micronutrients, are viewed as a major health concern while also adversely impacting the environment (both carbon emission and water scarcity concerns). Although this may be true in other countries, in SA there is a tendency to add a load of micronutrients to UPF. Food control refers to this as “fake foods.” While over 45 countries and smaller subregional or urban entities have created taxes on ultra-processed beverages such as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), only a few have adopted taxes on snacks and other ultra-processed foods, and none have added major subsidies for truly healthy fresh or minimally processed food for the poor. A second major focus has been on developing impactful front of the package labeling. A smaller number of countries have selected the most impactful warning labels and linked them with other policies to create a mutually reinforcing set of policies. A few have developed meaningful school feeding policies. We present in depth results from key countries involved in all these actions as well as comprehensive marketing controls. We then end with our recommendations for the future. This area is quite young; progress to date is substantial but much more is left to learn.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Year PublishedOnline ahead of print
Journal TitleLancet Diabetes & Endocrinology
Author(s)Popkin, Barry M.
Monteiro, Carlos Augusto
Ng, Shu Wen
Swart, Elizabeth C.
Taillie, Lindsey Smith