Comparison of nutrient profiling schemes for restricting the marketing of food and drink to children
Brinsden H, Lobstein T
To compare the proposed USA and EU nutrient profiling schemes and three government-led schemes, paying particular attention to the differences in sugar criteria.
Food and beverage products permitted to be advertised in the USA under pre-2013 criteria were examined using five nutrient profiling schemes: the forthcoming USA and EU schemes and three government-approved schemes: the US Interagency Working Group (IWG) proposals, the United Kingdom Office of Communications (OfCom) regulations and the Danish Forum co-regulatory Code.
Under the new USA and EU nutrient profiling schemes, 88 (49%) and 73 (41%) of a total of 178 products would be permitted to be advertised, respectively. The US IWG permitted 25 (14%) products; the Ofcom regulations permitted 65 (37%) and the Danish Code permitted 13 (7%).
Government-led schemes are significantly more restrictive than industry-led schemes, primarily due to their tougher sugar criteria. The Danish Forum (93%) and USA IWG scheme (86%) are the most restrictive of the five examined. Further harmonization of nutrient profiling schemes is needed to reduce children's exposure to the promotion of energy-dense foods.
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