We developed the NOURISHING framework to highlight where governments need to take action to promote healthy diets and reduce overweight and obesity.
The framework is accompanied by a regularly updated database (last updated 21 February 2018), providing an extensive overview of implemented government policy actions from around the world.
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The evidence suggests people who want to eat well use nutrient lists to choose healthier options. Interpretative labels help them when they find the labels hard to understand. Nutrition labels also create incentives for food manufacturers to reformulate their products, so helping populations more broadly by increasing the availability of food of higher nutritional value.
Clear standards are also needed on the use of nutrient and health claims. Evidence shows these claims alter the perception people have of these products – making it essential that they do not mislead.
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The Ministry of Health of Brunei Darussalam introduced a Healthier Choice Symbol in February 2017. Products bearing the logo indicate that the products meet a set of nutrient criteria, which were adapted from Singapore’s Healthier Choice Symbol Nutrient Guidelines. Nutrient criteria exist for >60 sub-categories of foods and beverages. Food and beverages manufacturers wishing to use the symbol must acquire a food analysis report from an accredited food testing laboratory to submit with their application, which is reviewed by the Healthier Choice Committee. Approved products are permitted to use the Ministry of Health’s Healthier Choice Logo and specific nutrition claims (eg. “lower in saturated fat”, “higher in calcium").
Empirical estimates show that food prices influence, to a varying degree, how much food people buy. Targeted subsidies have been shown to help overcome affordability barriers to healthy food for people on low incomes. Incentives, like financial rewards or price discounts, have also been shown to encourage people to switch to healthier options.
Emerging evidence from implemented taxes, as well as modelling studies, indicate the potential for effectiveness to reduce consumption. Given food choices are influenced by a whole host of factors, especially in modern, complex food markets, taxes must be designed very carefully to maximise effectiveness.
In effect since 1 April 2017, Brunei applies an excise duty at a rate of 0.40 BND (around $0.28) per litre for sugar-sweetened beverages with more than 6g of total sugar per 100ml, soya milk drinks with more than 7g of total sugar per 100ml, malted or chocolate drinks with more than 8g of total sugar per 100ml and coffee based drinks or coffee flavoured drinks with 6g of total sugar per 100ml. Milk-based beverages and fruit juices are exempt from the tax.