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Review
, 8 (3), 240-249

Effect of Formulation, Labelling, and Taxation Policies on the Nutritional Quality of the Food Supply

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Review

Effect of Formulation, Labelling, and Taxation Policies on the Nutritional Quality of the Food Supply

Stefanie Vandevijvere et al. Curr Nutr Rep.

Abstract

Purpose of review: Food formulation, labelling, and taxation policies may encourage food (re)formulation. However, most literature focuses on their impact on consumer behaviours. This review summarizes the impact of various nutrition policies on food (re)formulation.

Recent findings: Food (re)formulation targets (particularly mandatory policies) have been associated with positive reformulation of targeted products. Limited evidence (mostly from Health Star Ratings and the Tick) demonstrates that some labelling policies effectively incentivize food reformulation. No peer-reviewed evidence has examined warning labels and taxes on sugar in drinks, but limited grey literature evaluation suggests that those policies have stimulated reformulation to some extent.

Conclusions: The effect of nutrition policies on food (re)formulation is insufficiently studied. The impact of such policies on (re)formulation is likely greater when they are mandatory, aligned with other regulations, and thoroughly monitored and evaluated. Policies targeting (re)formulation have important limitations and broader food system policies will additionally be needed to significantly improve diets.

Keywords: Food reformulation; Food supply; Labelling; Sodium; Sugar; Taxation.

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