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Nutri-Score traffic light reduces calorie intake - and heart attacks


Nutri-Score traffic lights could prevent thousands of deaths

Labeling nutritional values ​​on foods can contribute to a healthier diet. This is also shown by a new study from France. The researchers found that the nationwide introduction of the Nutri Score traffic light could prevent thousands of deaths from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

A recent survey on food labeling showed that the majority of Germans support the Nutri-Score traffic light. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, on the other hand, is not convinced by the Nutriscore model: "Irritated here that a menu consisting of French fries, schnitzel and a light soft drink would get a positive, green rating (B) through the underlying Nutriscore algorithm" it in a message. However, a new study from France shows how useful this nutritional model is.

Deaths from cardiovascular diseases and cancer would decrease

As the German Alliance for Noncommunicable Diseases (DANK) reports, a nationwide introduction of the Nutri Score could reduce calorie intake by an average of nine percent and prevent thousands of deaths from diet-related illnesses. This is the result of a study published by the Universities of Paris, Grenoble and Borbigny in the "International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity".

It was the first to calculate how nutrition-related diseases would decrease in France if all products were labeled with the Nutri Score. The result: deaths from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and cancer would decrease by 3.4 percent. Thousands of people could live longer because the Nutri Score would help them eat healthier.

"These new research results make it clear that food labeling is ultimately about human life," said Barbara Bitzer, spokeswoman for the German Alliance for Noncommunicable Diseases THANKS: "The Nutri Score is again superior to the other systems. There is no way around introducing it to Germany. "

Eat around 180 calories less per day

According to the information, the researchers used the data from a previous study, which had measured in an experiment how the shopping basket improved when all products were labeled with the Nutri-Score or with one of four other nutritional labels. The scientists then consulted data on the nutritional behavior of the (French) total population and calculated how calorie intake and nutritional composition would change as a result of the labels - assuming that the food purchased was also eaten in this way.

According to this, the Nutri Score would reduce the total calorie intake per person by an average of nine percent. People would eat around 180 calories less a day. The composition of the food would also be healthier with more fruits (plus 12.4%), vegetables (plus 5.4%) and fiber (plus 7.2%) and less saturated fatty acids (minus 29.9%) and salt (minus 4.1%).

In the final step, the researchers calculated how this improved diet would affect health. To this end, they additionally fed data into the statistical relationships between the type of diet and the frequency of secondary diseases and deaths in a calculation model. This enabled the scientists to calculate how many deaths the respective label would prevent through improved nutrition.

Result: Of all five labels, the Nutri Score would prevent most deaths from diet-related illnesses. 7,680 fewer people would die within a year, which corresponds to a minus of 3.4 percent. It would be less with the other labels.

Minister of Food is to introduce the Nutri Score in Germany

Even though these results are not necessarily transferable 1: 1 to other countries, they show, according to the DANK, that the Nutri-Score best promotes the selection of healthier foods compared to other labels and can ultimately avoid numerous deaths. "There is no longer any real argument against the Nutri-Score," said Bitzer, "even the accusation that it would not affect calorie intake has now been invalidated. Minister of Food Julia Klöckner must finally take note of this overwhelming evidence and introduce the Nutri-Score in Germany. ”According to the information, the research group that developed the Nutri-Score was also involved in the study. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


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