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In this article we look at the burden of disease due to poor diets in the European Union (EU), drawing on recent analyses of the Global Burden of Disease Study as a way of gauging EU consumers' actual, as opposed to perceived, health needs. Then we examine some findings of an EU-funded project with the overall aim of investigating the role of health-related claims and symbols in consumer behaviour (CLYMBOL). We look specifically at the CLYMBOL project's survey of the prevalence of health-related claims found on food packaging and at what such claims signal to consumers about their health needs. We find that the prevalence of different types of health-related claim bears little relationship to consumers' actual health needs. We conclude that the EU regulation on health and nutrition claims should pay more attention to the burden of disease due to poor diets in the EU, if it is to help protect the health of consumers.


Journal article


Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech

Publication Date





22 - 24