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The Brazilian population consumes larger serving sizes than those informed on labels

Mariana Vieira dos Santos Kraemer (Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil)
Priscila Pereira Machado (Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil)
Nathalie Kliemann (Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil)
David Alejandro González Chica (Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil)
Rossana Pacheco da Costa Proença (Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to relate average serving size intake by the Brazilian population and declared serving size, the presence of trans fat and household measure fractioning declared on labels of processed, and ultra-processed food products.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional study that analyzed the food labelling of all processed and ultra-processed food products sold in a supermarket in southern Brazil.

Findings

A total of 1,071 processed and ultra-processed food products were analyzed. In 88 per cent of food groups, the average serving size consumed was larger than what was declared on labels. Consumed serving size was up to 9.2 times larger than the declared ones in food products with trans fat among their ingredients list and in false negatives and up to 9.9 times larger in foods with fractioned household measure (p<0.001). The Brazilian population consumes, on average, larger serving sizes than those declared on labels, which may represent a significant intake of trans fats without the consumers’ noticing.

Originality/value

This study has been performed with the use of a national database on food consumption, as well as the information from a large number of processed and ultra-processed food labels marketed in Brazil. This study is also proven to be important and novel, contributing with information as to the manner in which nutrition labelling has been presented to Brazilian consumers, discussing its possible consequences for food choices, intake, and the guarantee of consumer rights.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The present study was financially supported by the Brazilian national research council (Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa - CNPq) and Capes Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil, Brasilia, DF, Brazil. None of the authors had conflicts of interest.

Citation

Kraemer, M.V.d.S., Machado, P.P., Kliemann, N., González Chica, D.A. and Proença, R.P.d.C. (2015), "The Brazilian population consumes larger serving sizes than those informed on labels", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 2, pp. 719-730. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-11-2013-0339

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited