The Fijian Government has regulated nutrient labelling and set voluntary sodium reformulation targets in efforts to curb rising diet related non-communicable diseases. Our aim was to establish a national database of packaged foods and assess compliance to labelling regulations and reformulation targets. Data were collected from the labels of all packaged food products sold at five major supermarkets in Fiji in 2018. Proportions of products compliant with labelling regulations and with sodium reformulation targets, and mean sodium and sugar content were calculated in each food category. 5,946 packaged food products were surveyed, of which 4,278 were included for analysis. Overall compliance with labelling of all required nutrients was low, 14% of packaged foods in 14 major categories met national regulations. The food group with the highest mean sodium content was convenience foods (1699 mg/100 g) and confectionary (52.6 g/100g) had the highest free sugar content. Sixty percent of products met the voluntary Fiji sodium reformulation targets. Improving the nutritional composition of foods and improving labelling has the potential to curb the escalating burden of diet related non-communicable diseases. Our findings indicate ample opportunity for improvements in labelling and nutritional composition of the Fijian packaged food supply.
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Packaged food supply in FIji: Nutrients levels, compliance with salt targets and adherence to labelling regulations
Published: 30 October 2020 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Nutrients - Nutritional and Microbiota Effects on Chronic Disease session Interrelationships among microbiota, poor nutrition choices, and chronic disease
Keywords: nutrient labelling; reformulation; sodium; packaged food