Front-of-Pack Labelling in India - Empowering Indian Consumers to Make Healthier Food Choices
Front-of-pack labels (FoPLs) are an important tool to support consumers in making healthier food choices. A FoPL’s purpose is to inform consumers about the relative healthiness of products and indicate excessive energy, added sugars, saturated fats, and/or salt, which are associated with risk for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and obesity.
Many pre-packaged foods available in the market are processed with elevated levels of added sugars, salt, and/ or saturated fats, which are associated with increased risk of many diseases. We urgently need to adopt a front-of-pack labelling policy to help consumers make healthier food choices and reduce the country’s overall NCD burden. In this context, WHO India in partnership with The George Institute for Global Health undertook a study to assess the effectiveness of front of pack labels for processed food products.
Based on the findings of the study, a policy brief was developed to provide recommendations for the implementation of an effective FoPL as part of a comprehensive strategy to promote healthier diets. The implementation of front-of-pack labelling, supported by a robust campaign to enhance nutrition literacy in the population, can contribute significantly to the prevention and management of NCDs through positively influencing the dietary habits of consumers and assisting them in making healthier food choices.