Spectacular results from Chile’s anti-obesity drive
Tough laws have led to a 23.7 per cent drop in sales of sugary drinks in two years.
The measures introduced in 2016 restrict the marketing of junk food and sugary drinks and impose a ban on their sale in schools.
Chile’s ministry of health also add labels that warn if the drinks and food are high in sugar, salt or fat. Sugary drinks, unhealthy snacks and packaged foods must carry these prominent labels aimed at warning and educating families about the health dangers of junk food and drinks for their children.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, publishing in the journal PLOS Medicine, said Chile’s anti-obesity campaign went further than any other country in the world.
“This regulation is different because it is the first to require warning labels about excess levels of nutrients of concern, such as sugar or sodium, on the front of food and beverage packages,” said Lindsey Smith Taillie, assistant professor of nutrition at the Gillings School.
“The regulation includes the world’s strictest limits on how and where food companies can advertise junk food to children. The reductions we observed in sugary drink purchases were markedly greater than those seen following the implementation of standalone policies – such as a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages – elsewhere in Latin America.”