ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0058.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: warning labels; Health Star Rating; Nutriscore; GDA; food policy; obesity prevention; non-communicable diseases
Online: 6 May 2022 (04:23:49 CEST)
Policies to require front-of-package labels (FOPLs) on foods may help Indian consumers better identify foods high in nutrients of concern including sugar, saturated fat, and sodium, and discourage their consumption, outcomes critical for preventing rises in diet-related non-communicable disease. The objective was to test whether FOPLs helped Indian consumers identify ‘high-in’ foods and reduce intentions to purchase them. We conducted an in-person randomized experiment (n=2,869 adults between ages 18 and 60 years old) in six states of India in 2022. Participants were randomized to one of five FOPLs: a control label (barcode), warning label (octagon with “High in [nutrient]”), Health Star Warning (HSR), Guideline Daily Amount (GDA), or traffic light label. Participants then viewed a series of foods high in sugar, saturated fat, or sodium with the assigned FOPL, and rated product perceptions and label reactions. Fewer than half of participants in the control group (39.1%) correctly identified all products high in nutrient(s) of concern. All FOPLs led to an increase in this outcome, with the biggest differences observed for the warning label (60.8%, p<0.001) followed by the traffic light label (54.8%, p<0.001), GDA (55.0%, p<0.001), and HSR (45.0%, p<0.01). Relative to the control, only the warning label led to a reduction in intentions to purchase the products. The results suggest that warning labels are the most effective FOPL to help Indian consumers identify and avoid unhealthy foods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0350.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: Children; Malnutrition; India; Overweight; Stunting; Anaemia
Online: 5 June 2023 (16:22:25 CEST)
The study examines malnutrition's triple burden, including anaemia, overweight, and stunting, among children aged 6-59 months. Using data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21), the study identifies risk factors and assesses the contribution at different levels to existing malnutrition burden. A random intercept multilevel logistic regression model and spatial analysis are employed to identify child, maternal, and household level risk factors for stunting, overweight, and anaemia. The study finds that 34% of children were stunted, 4% overweight, and 66% anaemic. Stunting and anaemia prevalence were higher in central and eastern regions, while overweight was more prevalent in the north-eastern and northern regions. At macro-level, the coexistence of stunting, overweight, and anaemia circumstantiates the triple burden of childhood malnutrition with substantial spatial variation (Moran’s I: stunting-0.53, overweight-0.41 and anaemia-0.53). Multilevel analysis reveals that child, maternal, and household variables play a substantial role in determining malnutrition burden in India. The nutritional health is significantly influenced by a wide range of determinants, necessitating multilevel treatments targeting households to address this diverse group of coexisting factors. Given the intra-country spatial heterogeneity, the treatment also needs to be tailor-made for various disaggregated levels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0263.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Other Keywords: fruit; vegetable; childhood; COVID-19; cash value benefit
Online: 20 June 2022 (09:46:42 CEST)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, WIC increased the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruits and vegetables by roughly $25/month/person. We sought to understand WIC participant perceptions of this change and barriers and facilitators to using the CVB. We conducted 10 virtual focus groups (5 rural, 5 urban/suburban) with WIC participants (n=55) in North Carolina in March 2022. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed. We open coded the content and used thematic analysis to uncover consistencies within and between sampled groups. Participants expressed favorable perceptions of the CVB increase and stated the pre-pandemic CVB amount was insufficient. Barriers to using the increased CVB were identifying WIC approved fruits and vegetables in stores and insufficient supply of fruits and vegetables. Barriers were more pronounced in rural groups. CVB use facilitators were existing household preferences for fruits and vegetables and the variety of products that can be purchased with the CVB relative to other components of the WIC food package. Participants felt the CVB increase allowed their families to eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. The CVB increase may improve fruit and vegetable intake, particularly if made permanent, but barriers to CVB and WIC benefit use may be limiting the potential impact.