August 7th, 2017
To keep pace with global developments, the Choices International Criteria has to be revised every four years. The Choices International Scientific Committee begins its 2017/2018 criteria revision process now. We welcome any comments or insights to be taken into consideration as input for their work.
As a reminder, the international criteria, which is updated every 3-4 years, serves two important purposes:
1) As a basis for regional or national scientific committees to use when establishing criteria that more specifically meet unique local dietary needs and market situations.
2) As a methodology or starting point for countries or producers to establish credible, independent criteria as a nutrient profiling to implement front-of-pack labelling or product reformulation.
We welcome any feedback or insights you have on the current criteria, which can be downloaded here. Comments may include anything from changes to the existing text, product group definitions or nutrient levels to important policy or scientific advances that should be considered today or in the near future. Comments will be compiled and presented to the Choices International Scientific Committee, who will determine the new criteria.
Please send any comments via email to email@example.com by 10th September 2017. We look forward to your comments and thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.
July 19th, 2017
The Belgian Scientific Committee for Choices is pleased to announce the latest revision of its national criteria. Many of the changes, such as listing all nutrient measurements in grams per 100g, tightening sodium levels, and including added sugars where relevant, align with the most recent international criteria. In other changes, such as changing criteria from sodium to salt and proposing upper limits for artificial sweeteners, the Committee took their own decisions compared with the international criteria. The next step is to present the criteria to the Belgian Ministry of Health as contribution to the national conversation on front-of-pack labelling. We are grateful for the scientific committee members for their dedication and support.
Download a copy of the revised criteria here.
July 19th, 2017
The International Scientific Committee (ISC) of the Choices International Foundation is preparing for the next revision of its international nutrition criteria. These product group specific criteria serve as the basis for the Choices Programme, which uses a positive front-of-pack logo to stimulate product reformulation and guide consumers toward healthier choices. As part of the criteria revision process, a number of analyses must be conducted to identify how products currently in the marketplace comply to the current criteria and where changes can/should be made. The ISC seeks a trainee or intern who can work together with the ISC support team on the following activities:
- Analysis of current product data and application of Choices criteria
- Update and define new database
- Literature search and review on current developments in nutrition recommendations and consensus on NCD prevention
- Analysis of feedback from internal and external stakeholders
- Draft reports and complete other tasks as needed
The time commitment is approximately 4-6 months, half to full time, beginning as soon as possible. This opportunity can be considered part of a student internship or master’s thesis and includes a stipend. The successful candidate will gain hands-on experience in nutrition criteria development, database management, criteria analysis and literature review for an international multi-stakeholder organization. The role will be virtual (most communication via telephone, video conference or email) with occasional face-to-face meetings as needed.
- Current student (master or PhD) studying nutrition or dietetics
- Experience in data analysis, literature review, dietary patterns
- Understanding of general principles of front-of-pack labelling, product reformulation, etc
Please send motivation and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
July 18th, 2017
In a paper in the European Journal of Nutrition and Food Safety, that just has been released, the consensus statement on lipids and cardiovascular heart disease in Nigeria has been described. The paper by Dr Akinroye, CEO of the Nigerian Heart Foundation, shows that many political, scientific and communication aspects have been addressed in a one day conference. This included the Nigerian Heart logo, a front-of-pack label to identify heart healthy food. Finally, experts from the different angles, including Choices International, reached a consensus in their urgent call to advocate for the general public and health professionals to make heart-friendly choices in food consumption.
The publication can be reached here.
June 16th, 2017
The President Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), Mrs Francesca Emanuel, stated that African countries are overwhelmed by the threats that tobacco industries poses to the Sustainable Development of all countries, including the health and socioeconomic well-being of citizens especially the young population. She made the statement at the event to mark the 2017 World-No-Tobacco Day on the 31st of May 2017 in Lagos.
The Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional office for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, urged African countries to implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco. Dr. Moeti’s message was read by Dr. Meimuna Esan of WHO Lagos office who also implored individuals to help make a sustainable tobacco – free world, either by quitting the habit or by never to use tobacco products.
The activities were organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), the Nigerian Heart Foundation, the United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN) and Youth Action on Tobacco Control and Health (YATCH).
The event also featured student’s arts competition and exhibition. The artworks were submitted by students from eleven junior and senior secondary schools in Lagos. The best artwork attracted a bicycle as the prize and it was won by Lawal Ayobami a junior secondary school (JSS) student of Debiruss College Ajah, Lagos.
Photograph of the President of NHF Mrs Francesca Emanuel, Executive Director NHF, Dr. Kingsley K. Akinroye, Ambassador Ayo Olukanni of UNAN, Dr Mrs. Meimuna Esan of WHO and Mr.Seyi Soremekun of UNIC, Mr.Seye Omiyefa of YATCH and others with participating students of Lagos Junior and Senior Secondary Schools during the event marking the 2017 World-No-Tobacco Day in Lagos
June 15th, 2017
Obesity and diabetes rates in the Arab Gulf area are among the highest in the world; a harsh climate, high income and a rapid nutrition transition all contribute to this alarming situation. Choices visited Kuwait and Qatar and discussed the options for NCD prevention actions with the health authorities. The proposal for a joint country-wide effort for labelling, education and promotion of physical activity was welcomed with high interest.
June 15th, 2017
You might remember that the WHO call in 2004 against NCDs included diet and physical activity. Many actions took place since then on diet and many addressed physical activity, but the combination is lagging behind. To generate significant impact, an approach that seeks the synergy between both is obvious. Choices International, in collaboration with the Dutch Knowledge Center for Sport, has therefore developed a model for the country-wide promotion of healthy food (including the use of the Choices logo) and mobilizing people for physical activity. Of course the actions and interventions in this model are evidence based, require a sustained effort and a broad stakeholder commitment.
For more information, please contact the Choices Secretariat.