Evaluating the Implementation and Effects of Warning Advertising in Food Labels in Peru: A Mixed-methods Study

This project is a SALURBAL Ancillary Study (link with SALURBAL website http://en.cronicas-upch.pe/what-makes-cities-healthy-equitable-and-environmentally-sustainable-lessons-from-latin-america/ ), aligned with aim 2 of the principal study: to evaluate the health and environmental impact of city and neighborhood-level policies and interventions.

Objective

This study aims to assess the implementation of mandatory nutrition warnings in front-of-pack of food labels in Peru and its effect on the food industry’s marketing strategies and consumer’s preferences.

We plan to achieve two specific aims: 1) To explore, using a simple test, the influence of nutrition warning in making healthy decisions and the knowledge, practices and buying preferences of children and youth consumers of food and non-alcoholic beverages after the implementation of nutrition warnings, and 2) to identify and describe the changes in packaging and labels of food and non-alcoholic beverages after the implementation of advertising warnings in Peru and analyze the industry’s strategy behind those changes.

Design:

During this 2-year project, we propose two phases that correspond to one specific aim.

Phase 1. We will compare the influence of different nutritional warnings designs on children. To achieve this goal, we will select 156 scholars between 10-14 years, who will be randomly assigned to one of 3 groups. Each group will receive the same food products with the only difference of nutritional warning (no nutritional warning, octagonal warning and GDA + traffic light system). We will ask participants to imagine they go to the school canteen and have to buy the healthiest food between the 3 options offered.

Phase 2. We will compare and analyze food labels before and after the implementation of nutritional warnings using a database of photographs. We will search for changes in portions sizes, nutritional and health claims, nutritional facts (changes in composition), and other characteristics of the product. Additionally, we will carry out interviews with industry representatives and marketing experts, to describe the strategies that explain the changes in food products after the implementation of the norm.

Results

This project will begin in October 2018.

Contact

Francisco Diez Canseco, BA, MPH
francisco.diez.canseco.m@upch.pe

Location

Lima, Perú

Funding

Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom)

Duration

2018 – 2020

Research team

Francisco Diez Canseco, BA, MPH., CRONICAS, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia.
Lorena Saavedra-Garcia, BSc, MSc., CRONICAS, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia.
Akram Hernández Vásquez, MD, MSc., CRONICAS, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia.

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