The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has urged a recommendation by the CARICOM Regional Agency for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) to put front-pack nutrition warnings on food products, which have been shown to help people make better diet choices. to make healthy. .
In a statement Thursday, PAHO explained that the label allows consumers to identify foods that are high in fat, sugar, and sodium (salt) correctly, quickly – and they are all linked to non-communicable diseases. such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The CROSQ recommendation, which is under review by CARICOM Member States, recommends the adoption of package front labels that meet PAHO thresholds for excess fat, sugar and sodium.
“People living in the Caribbean do not yet have access to simple, easy-to-understand information on whether a food product contains too many sugars, sodium or fat,” said Anselm Hennis, Director of the Department of Non-Organic Diseases and PAHO Mental Health. “The need to know about these food products is even more important in the wake of COVID-19 pandemics, as people with NCDs are at greater risk of becoming ill or dying from COVID. -19. ”
“In the Caribbean, about a third of the population is at such great risk,” he continued. “They need to be extra careful to avoid products that contain too much sugar, sodium, saturated fat, trans fat or whole fat.”
PAHO explained that front-pack nutrition warnings are simple and easy-to-understand labels that indicate results in high in sugar, sodium, fat, saturated fat and trans fat. The nutritional warnings found in the recommendation under review by CARICOM Member States have undergone rigorous scientific evaluation and are recognized as the best performance system to produce products that are high in fat, sugar and sodium. identify accurately, quickly and easily.
The science that led to packaged face nutrition warnings is based on consumer research that won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002. In addition, Mexico, which adopted a system similar to the one proposed by CROSQ, recently recognized by the UN.
Hennis pointed out that supermarkets are full of thousands of packaged goods and that consumers spend only a few seconds choosing an item – too little time to see if the product is good for their health or to high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels and obesity. These three conditions account for nearly half of all Caribbean deaths (47 percent).
PAHO said the CROSQ recommendation is also in line with the recent statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, which stressed the responsibility of nations to take measures, such as the adoption of face-pack warning leaflets on unhealthy food healthy and drinking fruit, to protect the public’s right to health.