March 28, 2023 6:32 pm
Christina Nash,Laura Forbes
Evaluating consumption of items that meet Health Canada’s proposed front-of-label warning among a nationally-representative sample of Canadian adults
Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors
A. Jacobs1, M. Jessri1,2
1Food, Nutrition and Health Program, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and
2Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Health Canada’s (HC’s) proposed front-of-package (FOP) warning label focuses on the deemed “nutrients of concern” – saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
The objective of this study was to evaluate the consumption of items that meet HC’s proposed FOP warning labels, as measured by the percentage of energy from items consumed that meet the FOP label thresholds based on total daily energy intake, and the percentage of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium from items consumed that meet FOP label thresholds based on total sugar, sodium, or saturated fat intake, respectively, among Canadian adults.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
Twenty-four-hour dietary recall data obtained from the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)-Nutrition 2004 (n= 15 828) and 2015 (n= 13 608) were used to derive the percentage of items consumed that meet Health Canada’s proposed FOP labelling requirements. Survey weights and bootstraps were used to find age and sex stratified median intakes for adults.
The median amount of energy consumed from items that meet the proposed thresholds for sugar, saturated fat, and sodium in 2004 and 2015 was 37.82% (± 0.29), and 37.33% (± 0.38), respectively. In 2004 the median amount of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium consumed from items that meet the proposed thresholds based on total intake of each nutrient were 52.96% (± 0.60) for saturated fat, 34.45% (± 0.35) for sugar, and 38.04% (± 0.49) for sodium and 50.51% (± 0.60), 40.26% (± 0.50), and 31.48% (± 0.60), respectively, for 2015.
Overall, around 37% of energy consumed came from foods and beverages that would require a FOP warning label for saturated fat, sodium, and/or sugar.
Significance to Dietetics
More than one-third of calories consumed by Canadians come from items that would be affected by HC’s FOP warning labels, as well as one-third of Canadians sugar intake, and half of Canadians saturated fat and sodium intake.
This work was completed through a Masters program which was partially funded through CIHR.
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