Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. Backgroung/Objectives:Compares the nutritional quality of pre-packaged foods carrying health-related claims with foods that do not carry health-related claims.Subject/Methods:Cross-sectional survey of pre-packaged foods available in Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia and the United Kingdom in 2013. A total of 2034 foods were randomly sampled from three food store types (a supermarket, a neighbourhood store and a discounter). Nutritional information was taken from nutrient declarations present on food labels and assessed through a comparison of mean levels, regression analyses and the application of a nutrient profile model currently used to regulate health claims in Australia and New Zealand (Food Standards Australia New Zealand's Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion, FSANZ NPSC).Results:Foods carrying health claims had, on average, lower levels, per 100 g, of the following nutrients, energy - 29.3 kcal (P<0.05), protein - 1.2 g (P<0.01), total sugars - 3.1 g (P<0.05), saturated fat - 2.4 g (P<0.001), and sodium - 842 mg (P<0.001), and higher levels of fibre - 0.8 g (P<0.001). A similar pattern was observed for foods carrying nutrition claims. Forty-three percent (confidence interval (CI) 41%, 45%) of foods passed the FSANZ NPSC, with foods carrying health claims more likely to pass (70%, CI 64%, 76%) than foods carrying nutrition claims (61%, CI 57%, 66%) or foods that did not carry either type of claim (36%, CI 34%, 38%).Conclusions:Foods carrying health-related claims have marginally better nutrition profiles than those that do not carry claims; these differences would be increased if the FSANZ NPSC was used to regulate health-related claims. It is unclear whether these relatively small differences have significant impacts on health.

Original publication




Journal article


European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date





1388 - 1395