Consuming a diet complying with front-of-pack label criteria may reduce cholesterol levels: a modeling study.

E.L. Vyth, M.A. Hendriksen, A.J.C. Roodenburg, I.H.M. Steenhuis, J.M.A. van Raaij, H. Verhagen, J. Brug, J.C. Seidell

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background/Objectives:Front-of-pack nutrition labels can help consumers to make healthier choices and stimulate healthier product development. This is the first modeling study to investigate the potential impact on cholesterol levels of consuming a diet consisting of products that comply with the criteria for a healthier choice logo.Subjects/Methods:National food consumption and food composition data were used to estimate the nutrient intake of the Dutch adult population (18-70 years) before and after replacing foods that did not comply with the Choices front-of-pack label criteria. Different scenarios were established. The difference in cholesterol levels in the Dutch population was assessed before and after replacement by means of equations from meta-analyses that calculate how blood lipids change when diet composition changes.Results:After replacing non-complying products with products, which comply with the label's criteria (maximum scenario), saturated fatty acids median intake reduced from 14.5 to 9.8 en%. Trans-fatty acids reduced from 0.95 to 0.57 en%. The average predicted changes in low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol levels were 0.25 and 0.31 mmol/l, respectively. Because high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels reduced as well (0.05 mmol/l), overall, the result was a slightly positive change in the total cholesterol/HDL ratio (0.03).Conclusions:Our findings suggest that the consumption of foods complying with the criteria for a front-of-pack label could contribute moderately to cardiovascular risk reduction via influencing blood lipids. These findings were independent of other potential effects on related health outcomes. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-516
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Early online date16 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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