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Original Research Articles

Health and nutrition related claims of non-alcoholic beverage labels in supermarkets: their compliance with Sri Lanka Food Labelling and Advertising Regulations

Authors:

Mahendra Arnold ,

Ministry of Health, LK
About Mahendra
Quarantine Unit
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Sepali Wickramatilake,

Office of the Regional Director of Health Services, Matale District, LK
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Dinusha Fernando,

Office of the Regional Director of Health Services, Puttalam District, LK
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Roshan Sampath,

Ministry of Health, LK
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Palitha Karunapema,

Ministry of Health, LK
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Health Promotion Bureau,
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Buddhika Mahesh,

Ministry of Health, LK
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Yamuna Fernando,

Base Hospital, Panadura, LK
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Chandani Denawaka

Medical Officer of Health Office, Battaramulla, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: The main legislation governing food labelling in Sri Lanka is the Food Act which is implemented by health authorities. Food labels provide information to help consumers make healthier and safe food choices.

Objectives: To assess the compliance of health and nutrition claims of labels of non-alcoholic beverages with food labelling regulation

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in all 18 supermarkets in the Kandy Municipal Council Area. Non-alcoholic beverages were assessed. A judgmentally validated pre-tested checklist containing provisions of the labelling regulation was used as the study instrument. Data collection was done by four trained data collectors.

Results:  Of the 214 beverages assessed, 5.1% (n=11) did not have the common name in two languages. Claims or pictures to the effect that the beverage is recommended by medical practitioners or a professional association was present in 8.1% (n=19). Of the 56 milk products and health drinks, 8.9% (n=5) made claims that dietary fats benefit heart patients. Claim of food being an aid for slimming or weight reduction was found in 14% (n=9) of the 64 milk products, health drinks and green tea surveyed. Of the 36 beverages which made special claims, 30 (83%) did not have declarations that the natural food items also have the same characteristic.

Conclusions: Labels of considerable proportions of beverages contravene the provisions of the food labelling regulation, indicating the importance of proper implementation of the regulation.

How to Cite: Arnold, M., Wickramatilake, S., Fernando, D., Sampath, R., Karunapema, P., Mahesh, B., Fernando, Y. and Denawaka, C., 2020. Health and nutrition related claims of non-alcoholic beverage labels in supermarkets: their compliance with Sri Lanka Food Labelling and Advertising Regulations. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 26(1), pp.29–34. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v26i1.8222
Published on 25 Apr 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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