Bio: Elia Croce is an academic researcher from University of Brescia. The author has contributed to research in topics: Population & Public health. The author has an hindex of 2, co-authored 2 publications receiving 32 citations.
TL;DR: The study proposed highlights how, despite the reported nutritional information is often clear and comprehensive, consumers do not necessarily take the healthiest choice, but decisionmaking process is also influenced by the ability to decode the label and its graphical representation.
Abstract: Chronic diseases related to unbalanced and unhealthy eating habits have definitely become one of the major issues of modern age, not only in western countries but also in those ones where rapid economic growth has increased global prosperity levels. In order to avoid medical systems to collapse under excessive costs, International and Public Organizations strongly support health policies that aim to make people shift towards wholesome dietary patterns, also encouraging the use of food-labels to choose healthier products. To evaluate the consumers' knowledge and perception about food-labels a brief questionnaire was developed and shared on Facebook between January-March 2016. Most of the participants were young adults with higher education. They declared to do their shopping at least once a week, reading the food-labels quite often. Despite owing limited knowledge in basic nutrition principles and food-labelling they were generally able to recognize healthier products looking over their nutritional fact tables. Anyway, on average, what they care the most about the products they purchase is the global quality level rather than the nutritional values. In order to induce the whole population to use food label as an effective self-protection tool, more efforts should be done to improve their knowledge on nutrition fundamentals and basics about food labelling, because that would make them able to take safer and more conscious choices as regards their own health.
TL;DR: A role for the media in fostering public pressure towards health services and policy-makers is suggested and a collaboration between Public Health institutions and the media would be beneficial in order to improve communication with the public.
Abstract: Between 2015 and 2017 six deaths due to meningitis in the Lombardy Region, Northern Italy, caught the attention of media and increased concern among the population, with a consequent increase in demand for vaccination. Considering the evidence about the impact of media coverage of health issues on public behaviour, this paper investigates the trend of media coverage and internet searches regarding meningitis in the Lombardy Region. Content analysis of online articles published from January 2015 to May 2017 and analysis of Google Trends were carried out. A codebook was created in order to assess the content of each article analysed, based on six areas: article characteristics, information about meningococcal disease and vaccination, Local Health Authority activities, accuracy of information and tone of the message. Both public interest and media attention peaked in December 2016 and January 2017, when the Lombardy Regional Authority changed its policy by offering co-payment to adults with a saving of 50%. The frequency of meningitis coverage decreased after the announcement of policy change. For example, articles containing new information on meningitis or meningococcal vaccine (76 to 48%, p = 0.01) and preventive recommendations (31% down to 10%, p = 0.006) decreased significantly. An alarmist tone appeared in 21% of pre-policy articles that decreased to 5% post-policy (p = 0.03). The findings suggest a role for the media in fostering public pressure towards health services and policy-makers. A collaboration between Public Health institutions and the media would be beneficial in order to improve communication with the public.
TL;DR: Results showed that nutrition claims can influence the knowledge of consumers with respect to perceived healthfulness of products, as well as expected and experienced tastiness of food products – making food products with nutrition claims seem healthier and less tasty.
Abstract: As part of efforts to address high levels of overweight and obesity, the provision of nutrition information (e.g., through nutrition labels and nutrition claims) on food packages has increasingly become an important policy option. This study aimed to assess the influence of nutrition claims relating to fat, sugar, and energy content on product packaging on several aspects of food choices to understand how they contribute to the prevention of overweight and obesity. A systematic literature review was conducted using the online databases EBSCOhost Global Health, EBSCOhost Medline, ScienceDirect, Scopus, PsycINFO and Embase. Studies were included if they measured the influence of nutrition claims relating to fat, sugar, and energy content on outcomes related to body weight, and were published between January 2003 and April 2018. Eleven studies were included in the review. Results showed that nutrition claims can influence the knowledge of consumers with respect to perceived healthfulness of products, as well as expected and experienced tastiness of food products – making food products with nutrition claims seem healthier and less tasty. Nutrition claims can make the appropriate portion size appear to be larger and lead to an underestimation of the energy content of food products. Nutrition claims can also influence food purchase intentions, moderated by the perceived healthfulness of the relevant food products and the health consciousness of individuals. Nutrition claims were also found to have an impact on food purchases, to influence ‘consumption guilt’ (i.e., feeling of guilt associated with eating), and to increase consumption, moderated by the weight status of individuals. These influences were shown to vary depending on the type of claim and food carrying the claim. There is evidence that, while nutrition claims may lead some consumers to improve their nutrition knowledge and select healthier options, it may also lead consumers to increase food consumption and overall energy intake. This may run counter to efforts to address overweight and obesity.
TL;DR: This narrative review aims to identify the dietary management for lactose intolerant people, avoiding symptoms and nutrients deficiencies, helped by the use of specific labelling to guide them to choose the safer product on the market.
Abstract: Worldwide, 70% of the adult population has limited expression of lactase enzyme with a wide variation among different regions and countries Lactase deficiency may lead to lactose intolerance (LI) Depending both on the amount of lactose ingested and on the lactase activity, people who suffer from lactose malabsorption might experience numerous gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms and manifestations Treatment of LI mainly consists of reducing or eliminating lactose from the diet until the symptoms disappear as well as supplementing lactase, and inducing colon microbiome adaptation by probiotics Cow’s milk is one of the major source of calcium and several other vitamins and minerals Thus, a complete exclusion of dairy products may favor the development of bone diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis Therefore, the dietetic approach has a crucial role in the management of LI patients Additionally, the use of lactose and milk-derived products in non-dairy products (eg, baked goods, breakfast cereals, drinks, and processed meat) has become widespread in the modern industry (the so-called “hidden lactose”) In this regard, a strict adherence to the lactose-free diet becomes challenging for LI patients, forced to continuous check of all products and food labels In fact, lactose-free product labeling is still controversial Considering that nowadays a specific cut-off value establishing “lactose-free” labeling policy is lacking and that there is no universal law regulating the production and commercialization of “delactosed” products, identification of specific safe and suitable products with a well-recognized lactose-free logo might help consumers This narrative review aims to identify the dietary management for lactose intolerant people, avoiding symptoms and nutrients deficiencies, helped by the use of specific labelling to guide them to choose the safer product on the market
TL;DR: Google Trends data was used to quantify worldwide interest in COVID-19 and CDC-recommended vaccines using the unit search volume index (SVI), which estimates volume of online search activity relative to highest volume of searches within a specified period.
••15 Dec 2020
TL;DR: Accurate and informative labeling of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products is an important public health issue and a better understanding of the basic framework for FDA labeling and marketing regulations for food, dietary supplements and drugs is warranted.
Abstract: Introduction: Interest in the therapeutic use of cannabidiol (CBD) has reached a fever-pitch in recent months, as CBD-containing products appear everywhere from online retailers to grocery stores and gas stations. The widespread availability of hemp-derived CBD products is confounding given that CBD is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug, and thus precluded from being added to food and beverages, or included in dietary supplements. The use by manufacturers of disease-related claims on marketing materials and product labels, along with the federal legalization of hemp in December 2018, has created political pressure on FDA to promulgate regulations. Conclusions: Accurate and informative labeling of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products is an important public health issue. FDA-regulated product labels are considered an essential tool for protecting consumers and enabling informed decision-making. Untruthful or unsubstantiated health-related claims, and unallowed Drug Claims, in marketing materials and on labels of CBD products may create harm by enticing consumers to forgo more evidence-based medical interventions. Furthermore, missing or inaccurate labeling of the amount of CBD, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and potentially harmful contaminants such as pesticides, naturally-occurring yeast and mold or heavy metals may result in harm and/or lack of efficacy. Manufacturers of these products may reasonably be expected to understand and adhere to FDA regulations for labeling and marketing of food, dietary supplements and drugs, both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription, even though FDA has interpreted federal law as excluding them from these categories. As manufacturers prepare for forthcoming regulations, a better understanding of the basic framework for FDA labeling and marketing regulations for food, dietary supplements and drugs is warranted.