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Data from Brazil shows an increase in obesity and non-communicable diseases, which is related to the expansion of the participation of ultra-processed food products in diets and in the food environment, displacing fresh and minimally processed foods and meals prepared with them. One of the solutions to ...

Data from Brazil shows an increase in obesity and non-communicable diseases, which is related to the expansion of the participation of ultra-processed food products in diets and in the food environment, displacing fresh and minimally processed foods and meals prepared with them. One of the solutions to improve food environments requires the implementation of effective and adequate food labeling regulations, including front-of-package labeling. This policy tool has the potential to inform the consumers about the nutrients, ingredients, or any other component of public health concern contained in the products and facilitate healthier food choices.

This Research Topic will convene important evidence on the new nutrition food labeling regulation in Brazil, that was approved in October 2020 and will be implemented by October 2022. The evidence might also be informative for other countries in Latin American and the Caribbean, where food labeling policies have been advancing, while dealing with strong opposition by the food industry and with conflicts of interest within governments. The contribution of this Research Topic to the body of scientific evidence on food labeling and regulations from different countries is important to strengthen effective public policies and to overcome the obstacles preventing their adoption and implementation to ultimately help consumers make better food choices.

Many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have been advancing food labeling policies, with an emphasis on the front-of-package nutrition labeling. Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Uruguay have implemented warning labels and many others have taken important steps towards the adoption and implementation of this policy tool in the region. Brazil has approved new provisions for its food labeling regulation to be implemented and enforced by October 2022.

Data on food labeling, especially on front-of-package nutrition labeling, is growing fast since public health policies on this issue are being discussed, improved, and implemented all over the world, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. Brazil is a continental country with remarkable importance for and influence on the region. Therefore, advancing the research on Brazil’s new food labeling policies is crucial to reveal its weaknesses and strengths and draw key lessons to improve the policy for the country and also for existing and upcoming policies in the entire region. Reporting on the evidence that support effective public health policies can also contribute to provide states with the necessary tools to fulfil their obligations to protect, respect and fulfil human rights, which include the adoption of labeling policies that can ease the use of information by the population, protect consumers from misleading information and from persuasive elements driving the purchase of unhealthy products, and help them take healthier food choices.

The potential articles will approach themes related to the food labeling regulation approved in Brazil in October 2020, to be implemented in October 2022, including aspects not covered by the regulation but still important to protect public health:

- Front-of package nutrition labeling (design and parameters that define products subject to the observance of front-of-package labeling provisions such as nutrient profiling model, food classification, definitions, exemptions);
- List of ingredients;
- Nutrient declaration (also known as nutrition information table, nutrition facts panel or table);
- Nutrients and ingredients of concern;
- Nutrition and health claims;
- Other claims and labeling elements affecting consumers’ choice;
- Marketing on the labels and packages of food and drink products;
- Industry interference and conflicts of interest throughout the regulatory process (e.g. policy formulation, consultation, decision, adoption, enactment);
- Potential impact of the implementation of the Brazil’s food labeling policy as well as of improved versions and alternatives.
We understand some of these aspects can be approached from a general perspective and still be applicable to the Brazilian context, but priority will be given to articles directly related to the Brazilian reality (i.e. based on Brazil’s food supply, Brazilian consumers and Brazilian stakeholders).

Only manuscripts free of conflicts of interest will be considered for this Research Topic.

We acknowledge the funding of the manuscripts published in this Research Topic by Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor (IDEC). We hereby state publicly that Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor (IDEC) has had no editorial input in articles included in this Research Topic, thus ensuring that all aspects of this Research Topic are evaluated objectively, unbiased by any specific policy or opinion of Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor (IDEC).

Keywords: Food labeling, Nutrition labeling, Nutritional quality, Food ingredients, Food policies, Nutrition policies, Food legislation, Eating, Consumer behavior

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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