Improving child and adolescent diets at school: An evaluation of Chile’s Food Labeling and Advertising Law
- Impact Area
Over the past four decades, countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region have experienced a rapid nutrition transition. Populations have migrated from traditional diets to diets that rely on energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods high in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats. These shifts are linked to higher levels of obesity among all ages and higher burdens of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes. Chile is no exception—child and adolescent obesity there continues to rise amid widespread changes in the food environment in recent decades.
To address the obesity epidemic, in June 2016 the Chilean government introduced a comprehensive national food policy. Focusing primarily on children, the policy combined several components including front-of-package (FOP) labeling, marketing restrictions, and school regulations to promote healthier food environments through a multifactorial, structural approach (Figure 1). For the youngest food consumers, that meant cartoon mascots disappearing from boxes, prohibiting television and website advertising targeting youth, and the removal of junk food from schools.