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Compared to other front-of-pack nutrition labels, the Nutri-Score emerged as the most efficient to inform Swiss consumers on the nutritional quality of food products

Manon Egnell 1, * Pilar Galan 1 Nathalie Farpour-Lambert 2 Zenobia Talati 3 Simone Pettigrew 4 Serge Hercberg 1, 5 Chantal Julia 1, 5
* Corresponding author
1 CRESS - U1153 - Equipe 3: EREN- Equipe de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle
CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM], INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, CRESS (U1153 / UMR_A_1125 / UMR_S_1153) - Centre de Recherche Épidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité
Abstract : BACKGROUND: Switzerland, like other high-income countries, is facing a major public health challenge with the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases. Discussions are currently on-going in Switzerland regarding the implementation of a Front-of-Pack nutrition label (FoPL) as a public health measure to guide consumers towards healthier food choices, and the Nutri-Score represents an alternative supported by multiple actors. To date, no studies have investigated the performance of the Nutri-Score among Swiss consumers. This study aimed to compare the response of Swiss consumers to five FoPLs (Health Star Rating system, Multiple Traffic Lights, Nutri-Score, Reference Intakes and Warning symbol) in terms of perception and understanding of these labels and effects on food choices. METHODS: In 2019, 1,088 Swiss consumers were recruited and asked to select one product from among a set of three foods with different nutritional profiles and then classify the products within the sets according to their nutritional quality. Tasks were performed in situations without a label and then with one of the five FoPLs-depending on the group in which they were randomized-on the pack. Finally, participants were questioned on their perceptions regarding the label to which they were exposed. RESULTS: All FoPLs were favorably perceived, with marginal differences between FoPLs. The Nutri-Score demonstrated the highest percentage of improvement in food choices and the highest overall performance in helping consumers rank the products according to their nutritional quality. CONCLUSION: Overall, the Nutri-Score was the most efficient FoPL in informing Swiss consumers of the nutritional quality of food products, and as such could be a useful tool to improve food choices and reduce the burden of chronic diseases in Switzerland.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 2:58:02 PM
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Manon Egnell, Pilar Galan, Nathalie Farpour-Lambert, Zenobia Talati, Simone Pettigrew, et al.. Compared to other front-of-pack nutrition labels, the Nutri-Score emerged as the most efficient to inform Swiss consumers on the nutritional quality of food products. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (2), ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0228179⟩. ⟨inserm-02527842⟩

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