Labels more controversial than Nutriscore


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In just twenty seconds, the ad violates one of the guidelines set by the PAOS code, a manual of good conduct that guides food companies to improve the quality of their advertising messages and the negative impact they may have on boys and girls. Its goal is to end that pandemic that came before the coronavirus andstill far from eradicated: childhood obesity. At spot in question, some cookies with Minions serigraphs that delight the little ones look like pizpiretas. In food advertising aimed at minors up to 12 years of age, characters especially close to this point will not appear, indicates one of the sections of this regulatory code. Yellow card.

It is not fully sanctioned by the nutritionist Mara Prez because, in this case, the product contains reasonably acceptable ingredients. And this is the only reason the company can fire heavy artillery with that slogan that seems to be heavenly music in food matters: No added sugar. And is this bad? We could leave it in that good it is not. As this specialist alerts, heThe food industry plays with the bad reputation of fats and sugars to send this type of message, and thus generate the feeling in the consumer that the products are healthier, when they can perfectly continue to be crap. Continuing along this line, in fact, he mentions the case of some cookies from another brand. This is much more bleeding: the box indicates that the product is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and iron. And if someone wants to look for all this, the normal thing is to eat some lentils; Beyond that it carries a good shot of sugars and the packaging has cartoons. These examples, far from being isolated cases, are visible to anyone who has a television and takes a walk through the supermarket. This is especially the case with baby food: in addition, parents have to be satisfied with the healthy eating path by attracting children with striking colors, drawings, large type fonts or even striking shapes. On other occasions, they sometimes even include gifts to encourage the purchase.

And so the elephant has been roaming freely in the room for years. Whywith the medical focus on the Nutriscore system, consumers continue to be loved byaggressive and confusing messages. And this does not mean that nutritionists embrace this new labeling, quite the contrary, because part of the controversy is that this model comes to value olive oil as a lower quality product than Coca-Cola Zero. But it is true that they want to take advantage of the attention to demand that many practices carried out by the food industry be studied and regulated.

Mara Gonzlez, nutritionist and member of the Professional College of Dietitians-Nutritionists of Galicia, explains that she only understands the Nutriscore system to compare different brands of the same product, but that even thenThey are labels in which it says ‘0% fat’ to which many consumers are going to launch thinking that this is almost like eating air, when perhaps, imagine that it is a yogurt, it has high amounts of sugar. A similar anecdote is told by Perez, who works at Assistens Sport. 95% of my patients tell me that they happily eat skimmed yogurt, as if it were essential to take care of themselves, and most of the time they recognize that they take flavors, just what they are usually full of sugar. It is more important that a yogurt is natural than skimmed.

What other countries do

Gonzlez invites the authorities to take a look at systems that already work in Latin American countries such as Uruguay or Chile. In this case, it is the negative parts of a product that are shown on the front of the package so that the consumer has a clear meridian of what is brought to the mouth. These are black stamps, which will indicate, among other things, a high in saturated fat, high in sugar or high in calories.. In this way, we would know more reliably what we are putting in our mouths. And this is no small matter, as it seems that we are increasingly concerned about what we eat, although sometimes it is interesting to wear a blindfold. In this, the nutritionists consulted agree, who believe that brands take advantage of the boom for a healthy life using resources in their packaging as a source of fiber, it helps the correct functioning of the digestive system or is gluten-free; This last one of those fallacies that has been penetrating deep into a large part of society as a rising value without any meaning, because a person who is not celiac does not have to give up foods that contain this protein.

As it is, and returning to the eyes that do not see, a headache that saved me, Viki Lorenzo remembers, no matter how common sense it may seem, that the best labeling is precisely the one that does not existThe shopping cart should be filled, mostly, with label-free products: fruits, vegetables, meats, fish. And if you buy packaged products, it is best to look at the list of ingredients and, the more we understand, the better, being that it is a more natural product avoiding, of course, high amounts of sugar and other harmful components that we may already know.

The publicist and marketing expert Jssica Bardanca explains that companies know that consumers, especially the millennial, each time he looks more closely at what he buys. Including food, which is why they should be realistic and consistent with what they sell, betting on copys realistic. In this line, Mara González highlights the nutritional traffic light used by the Vegalsa-Eroski company for its brand products as an indicator of the good work that companies can carry out. It consists of a color system that indicates in an expensive and simple way the percentage of salt, sugars, or saturated fat in a product based on the recommended daily reference intake of calories and nutrients.

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