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Type: Journal article
Title: Sodium content and labelling of processed and ultra-processed food products marketed in Brazil
Author: Martins, C.
De Sousa, A.
Veiros, M.
González-Chica, D.
Da Costa Proença, R.
Citation: Public Health Nutrition, 2015; 18(7):1206-1214
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1368-9800
Statement of
C.A. Martins, A.A. de Sousa, M.B Veiros, D.A. González-Chica and R.P. da Costa Proença
Abstract: Objective: To analyse the Na content and labelling of processed and ultraprocessed food products marketed in Brazil. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: A large supermarket in Florianopolis, southern Brazil. Subjects: Ingredient lists and Na information on nutrition labels of all processed and ultra-processed pre-prepared meals and prepared ingredients, used in lunch or dinner, available for sale in the supermarket. Results: The study analysed 1416 products, distributed into seven groups and forty-one subgroups. Five products did not have Na information. Most products (58·8 %; 95 % CI 55·4, 62·2 %) had high Na content (>600 mg/100 g). In 78·0% of the subgroups, variation in Na content was at least twofold between similar products with high and low Na levels, reaching 634-fold difference in the ‘garnishes and others’ subgroup. More than half of the products (52·0%; 95% CI 48·2, 55·6 %) had at least one Na-containing food additive. There was no relationship between the appearance of salt on the ingredients list (first to third position on the list) and a product’s Na content (high, medium or low; P =0·08). Conclusions: Most food products had high Na content, with great variation between similar products, which presents new evidence for reformulation opportunities. There were inconsistencies in Na labelling, such as lack of nutritional information and incomplete ingredient descriptions. The position of salt on the ingredients list did not facilitate the identification of high-Na foods. We therefore recommend a reduction in Na in these products and a review of Brazilian legislation.
Keywords: Sodium; Food labels; Processed foods; Consumer
Rights: © The Authors 2014
RMID: 0030022359
DOI: 10.1017/S1368980014001736
Appears in Collections:Medical Sciences publications

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