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Evaluating the Implementation and Effects of Warning Advertising in Food Labels in Peru: A Mixed-methods Study

image of package food labelling

Project Summary

In urban areas worldwide, obesity and overweight among children and adolescents are significant public health issues. To confront this burden, many countries are implementing policies to promote healthier food choices. In Peru, the government implemented the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating for Children and Adolescents (2013), which established that clear and standardized nutritional warnings be placed on processed food and beverages classified as “high” in sodium, sugar, or saturated fats. 

A team of researchers from Cayetano Heredia University will evaluate the effects of these nutritional warnings on the food-related decisions, knowledge, practices, and consumer preferences of children and adolescents. The team will first investigate the extent to which nutrition labelling changes have been implemented as well as industry responses to these requirements. Researchers will compare packages and labels before and after the implementation of the new regulations. 

Next, researchers will examine how children and adolescents’ healthy food knowledge and decisions are affected by the new warning labels. Participants will be divided into three different groups, one receiving food products with only nutrition facts, one receiving food products with one type of warning, and the third receiving food products with another type of warning.  The participants will be asked to choose the healthiest food option, as well as to complete a brief survey to measure their knowledge of healthy foods, how well they understood the labels, and their likelihood they would buy the foods in the future.

The project will contribute much needed evidence regarding the effectiveness of nutritional warnings in facilitating healthy food choices in young people. 

Research Team

Francisco Diez-Canseco, CRONICAS Centre of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Lorena Saavedra-Garcia, CRONICAS Centre of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Akram Hernández, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

The SALURBAL (Salud Urbana en América Latina, or “Urban Health in Latin America”) project is implementing this evaluation with support from the Wellcome Trust [205177/Z/16/Z].