Consumers International

London, United Kingdom

Consumers International

London, United Kingdom

Time filter

Source Type

Friel S.,Australian National University | Hattersley L.,Australian National University | Snowdon W.,Pacific Research Center for the Prevention of Obesity and Non Communicable Diseases | Snowdon W.,Deakin University | And 21 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: The liberalization of international trade and foreign direct investment through multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements has had profound implications for the structure and nature of food systems, and therefore, for the availability, nutritional quality, accessibility, price and promotion of foods in different locations. Public health attention has only relatively recently turned to the links between trade and investment agreements, diets and health, and there is currently no systematic monitoring of this area. This paper reviews the available evidence on the links between trade agreements, food environments and diets from an obesity and non-communicable disease (NCD) perspective. Based on the key issues identified through the review, the paper outlines an approach for monitoring the potential impact of trade agreements on food environments and obesity/NCD risks. The proposed monitoring approach encompasses a set of guiding principles, recommended procedures for data collection and analysis, and quantifiable 'minimal', 'expanded' and 'optimal' measurement indicators to be tailored to national priorities, capacity and resources. Formal risk assessment processes of existing and evolving trade and investment agreements, which focus on their impacts on food environments will help inform the development of healthy trade policy, strengthen domestic nutrition and health policy space and ultimately protect population nutrition. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Lee A.,Queensland University of Technology | Mhurchu C.N.,University of Auckland | Sacks G.,Deakin University | Swinburn B.,University of Auckland | And 20 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: Food prices and food affordability are important determinants of food choices, obesity and non-communicable diseases. As governments around the world consider policies to promote the consumption of healthier foods, data on the relative price and affordability of foods, with a particular focus on the difference between 'less healthy' and 'healthy' foods and diets, are urgently needed. This paper briefly reviews past and current approaches to monitoring food prices, and identifies key issues affecting the development of practical tools and methods for food price data collection, analysis and reporting. A step-wise monitoring framework, including measurement indicators, is proposed. 'Minimal' data collection will assess the differential price of 'healthy' and 'less healthy' foods; 'expanded' monitoring will assess the differential price of 'healthy' and 'less healthy' diets; and the 'optimal' approach will also monitor food affordability, by taking into account household income. The monitoring of the price and affordability of 'healthy' and 'less healthy' foods and diets globally will provide robust data and benchmarks to inform economic and fiscal policy responses. Given the range of methodological, cultural and logistical challenges in this area, it is imperative that all aspects of the proposed monitoring framework are tested rigorously before implementation. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Kelly B.,University of Wollongong | King L.,University of Sydney | Baur L.,University of Sydney | Rayner M.,University of Oxford | And 21 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: Food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing is recognized as an important factor influencing food choices related to non-communicable diseases. The monitoring of populations' exposure to food and non-alcoholic beverage promotions, and the content of these promotions, is necessary to generate evidence to understand the extent of the problem, and to determine appropriate and effective policy responses. A review of studies measuring the nature and extent of exposure to food promotions was conducted to identify approaches to monitoring food promotions via dominant media platforms. A step-wise approach, comprising 'minimal', 'expanded' and 'optimal' monitoring activities, was designed. This approach can be used to assess the frequency and level of exposure of population groups (especially children) to food promotions, the persuasive power of techniques used in promotional communications (power of promotions) and the nutritional composition of promoted food products. Detailed procedures for data sampling, data collection and data analysis for a range of media types are presented, as well as quantifiable measurement indicators for assessing exposure to and power of food and non-alcoholic beverage promotions. The proposed framework supports the development of a consistent system for monitoring food and non-alcoholic beverage promotions for comparison between countries and over time. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Neal B.,University of Sydney | Sacks G.,Deakin University | Swinburn B.,Deakin University | Swinburn B.,University of Auckland | And 21 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: A food supply that delivers energy-dense products with high levels of salt, saturated fats and trans fats, in large portion sizes, is a major cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The highly processed foods produced by large food corporations are primary drivers of increases in consumption of these adverse nutrients. The objective of this paper is to present an approach to monitoring food composition that can both document the extent of the problem and underpin novel actions to address it. The monitoring approach seeks to systematically collect information on high-level contextual factors influencing food composition and assess the energy density, salt, saturated fat, trans fats and portion sizes of highly processed foods for sale in retail outlets (with a focus on supermarkets and quick-service restaurants). Regular surveys of food composition are proposed across geographies and over time using a pragmatic, standardized methodology. Surveys have already been undertaken in several high- and middle-income countries, and the trends have been valuable in informing policy approaches. The purpose of collecting data is not to exhaustively document the composition of all foods in the food supply in each country, but rather to provide information to support governments, industry and communities to develop and enact strategies to curb food-related NCDs. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Rayner M.,University of Oxford | Wood A.,University of Auckland | Lawrence M.,Deakin University | Mhurchu C.N.,University of Auckland | And 23 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: Food labelling on food packaging has the potential to have both positive and negative effects on diets. Monitoring different aspects of food labelling would help to identify priority policy options to help people make healthier food choices. A taxonomy of the elements of health-related food labelling is proposed. A systematic review of studies that assessed the nature and extent of health-related food labelling has been conducted to identify approaches to monitoring food labelling. A step-wise approach has been developed for independently assessing the nature and extent of health-related food labelling in different countries and over time. Procedures for sampling the food supply, and collecting and analysing data are proposed, as well as quantifiable measurement indicators and benchmarks for health-related food labelling. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Swinburn B.,University of Auckland | Swinburn B.,Deakin University | Vandevijvere S.,University of Auckland | Kraak V.,Deakin University | And 20 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: Government action is essential to increase the healthiness of food environments and reduce obesity, diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and their related inequalities. This paper proposes a monitoring framework to assess government policies and actions for creating healthy food environments. Recommendations from relevant authoritative organizations and expert advisory groups for reducing obesity and NCDs were examined, and pertinent components were incorporated into a comprehensive framework for monitoring government policies and actions. A Government Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) was developed, which comprises a 'policy' component with seven domains on specific aspects of food environments, and an 'infrastructure support' component with seven domains to strengthen systems to prevent obesity and NCDs. These were revised through a week-long consultation process with international experts. Examples of good practice statements are proposed within each domain, and these will evolve into benchmarks established by governments at the forefront of creating and implementing food policies for good health. A rating process is proposed to assess a government's level of policy implementation towards good practice. The Food-EPI will be pre-tested and piloted in countries of varying size and income levels. The benchmarking of government policy implementation has the potential to catalyse greater action to reduce obesity and NCDs. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


L'Abbe M.,University of Toronto | Schermel A.,University of Toronto | Minaker L.,University of Waterloo | Kelly B.,University of Wollongong | And 22 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: This paper outlines a step-wise framework for monitoring foods and beverages provided or sold in publicly funded institutions. The focus is on foods in schools, but the framework can also be applied to foods provided or sold in other publicly funded institutions. Data collection and evaluation within this monitoring framework will consist of two components. In component I, information on existing food or nutrition policies and/or programmes within settings would be compiled. Currently, nutrition standards and voluntary guidelines associated with such policies/programmes vary widely globally. This paper, which provides a comprehensive review of such standards and guidelines, will facilitate institutional learnings for those jurisdictions that have not yet established them or are undergoing review of existing ones. In component II, the quality of foods provided or sold in public sector settings is evaluated relative to existing national or sub-national nutrition standards or voluntary guidelines. Where there are no (or only poor) standards or guidelines available, the nutritional quality of foods can be evaluated relative to standards of a similar jurisdiction or other appropriate standards. Measurement indicators are proposed (within 'minimal', 'expanded' and 'optimal' approaches) that can be used to monitor progress over time in meeting policy objectives, and facilitate comparisons between countries. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Swinburn B.,University of Auckland | Swinburn B.,Deakin University | Sacks G.,Deakin University | Vandevijvere S.,University of Auckland | And 19 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) dominate disease burdens globally and poor nutrition increasingly contributes to this global burden. Comprehensive monitoring of food environments, and evaluation of the impact of public and private sector policies on food environments is needed to strengthen accountability systems to reduce NCDs. The International Network for Food and Obesity/NCDs Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) is a global network of public-interest organizations and researchers that aims to monitor, benchmark and support public and private sector actions to create healthy food environments and reduce obesity, NCDs and their related inequalities. The INFORMAS framework includes two 'process' modules, that monitor the policies and actions of the public and private sectors, seven 'impact' modules that monitor the key characteristics of food environments and three 'outcome' modules that monitor dietary quality, risk factors and NCD morbidity and mortality. Monitoring frameworks and indicators have been developed for 10 modules to provide consistency, but allowing for stepwise approaches ('minimal', 'expanded', 'optimal') to data collection and analysis. INFORMAS data will enable benchmarking of food environments between countries, and monitoring of progress over time within countries. Through monitoring and benchmarking, INFORMAS will strengthen the accountability systems needed to help reduce the burden of obesity, NCDs and their related inequalities. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Claro R.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Linders H.,Consumers International | Ricardo C.Z.,University of Sao Paulo | Legetic B.,Pan American Health Organization | Campbell N.R.C.,University of Calgary
Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2012

Objective. To describe individual attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding salt intake, its dietary sources, and current food-labeling practices related to salt and sodium in five sentinel countries of the Americas. Methods. A convenience sample of 1 992 adults (= 18 years old) from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, and Ecuador (approximately 400 from each country) was obtained between September 2010 and February 2011. Data collection was conducted in shopping malls or major commercial areas using a questionnaire containing 33 questions. Descriptive estimates are presented for the total sample and stratified by country and sociodemographic characteristics of the studied population. Results. Almost 90% of participants associated excess intake of salt with the occurrence of adverse health conditions, more than 60% indicated they were trying to reduce their current intake of salt, and more than 30% believed reducing dietary salt to be of high importance. Only 26% of participants claimed to know the existence of a recommended maximum value of salt or sodium intake and 47% of them stated they knew the content of salt in food items. More than 80% of participants said that they would like food labeling to indicate high, medium, and low levels of salt or sodium and would like to see a clear warning label on packages of foods high in salt. Conclusions. Additional effort is required to increase consumers' knowledge about the existence of a maximum limit for intake and to improve their capacity to accurately monitor and reduce their personal salt consumption. © 2013 Organización Panamericana de la Salud.


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

By 2050, drug-resistant infections are expected to cause 10 million deaths annually – becoming a bigger killer than cancer is today. By 2050, antimicrobial resistance is also expected to cost the world $100tn and could push more than 28 million people into extreme poverty. Misuse of antibiotics in food animals is a major driver of resistance. Farm animals consume about two-thirds of the world’s antibiotics, with much of this added to feed or water to make animals grow faster or to counter unsanitary conditions in factory farming facilities. Between 2010 and 2030, it is predicted that antibiotic use in food animal production will increase by two-thirds. In World Antibiotics Awareness Week, we are calling on KFC, Subway and McDonald’s to end the routine use of all antibiotics included on the World Health Organisation’s list of medically important antimicrobials, in all of their livestock supply chains. This means prohibiting suppliers from using these antibiotics for growth promotion or disease prevention and only using them when there has been a diagnosis of illness. We welcome the progress that has been made by Subway and McDonald’s in North America and urge KFC to follow suit. But action in one region will not be enough. Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly aware of the negative health impact of misuse of antibiotics in livestock farming. Drug-resistant infections do not respect national boundaries. We urge KFC, Subway and McDonald’s to make global commitments and develop timetables for action with targets. Amanda Long Director general, Consumers International, Jean Halloran Director of food policy initiatives, Consumer Reports, Catherine Howarth Chief executive, ShareAction, Angus Wong Lead digital campaign strategist, SumOfUs, Steve Roach Food safety programme director, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Emma Rose Campaigns, lobbying and communications specialist, The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, Rosie Wardle Programme director, Jeremy Coller Foundation, Alan Briefel Executive director, FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return), Josh Zinner Chief executive officer, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Laura Rogers Deputy director, Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Anna Zorzet Head of ReAct Europe, Leslie Samuelrich President, Green Century Capital Management, Steve Blackledge Public health programme director, US Public Interest Research Group • Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Loading Consumers International collaborators
Loading Consumers International collaborators