This challenging issue catalyzed Sight and Life’s current work on nutrient profiling in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and stimulated the idea for this Special Report. In particular, it was in the context of our work on the OBAASIMA project in Ghana that we saw a willingness on the part of SMEs to engage in developing more affordable, nutritious foods, but where we quickly came to realize the many obstacles to achieving this aim.
One such challenge was the use of nutrient profiling models that were developed initially to prevent obesity in high-income countries (HICs) but were not necessarily applicable in a country such as Ghana. In this Special Report, Adam Drewnowski shares how nutrient profiling models tend to penalize dietary energy by giving lower ratings to foods containing excessive calories, fat, sugar, and salt. Such energy-driven nutrient profiling models need to be reconceptualized for use in LMICs, where hunger, undernutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies persist as major public health concerns.
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