from January 1, 2013, the general principles of nutrition labeling of prepackaged food will be formally implemented, and a nutrition label will be added to the food label. Despite this small change, it is of great significance. It can be said that this is not only a revolutionary change in food labeling, but also has an impact on the health of the people and economic development. With the rapid development of economy and society,

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, the nutritional status of Chinese residents has been significantly improved, but the nutritional problems have not been solved naturally with the development of economy and the increase of income. On the one hand, malnutrition, anemia, vitamin A and other micronutrients in children have not been fundamentally solved. On the other hand, due to the unreasonable dietary structure, insufficient physical activity and other behavioral risk factors, the chronic diseases of Chinese residents showed a “blowout” increase. The nutrition problems of

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are not only health problems, but also economic problems and social development problems. Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency affect the normal development of children’s intelligence and physique, and affect the improvement of national quality. Early malnutrition not only has an immediate impact on children’s health, but also is associated with chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypertension in adulthood. Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency cause great losses to social and economic development. Poor nutrition in childhood will reduce adult labor productivity by 2% – 9%, and eventually lead to a vicious cycle of poverty malnutrition decline of human resources quality increase of disease burden decline of labor production capacity slow economic development continued poverty.

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are caused by many factors, which are closely related to the changes of people’s behavior and lifestyle. In the past 30 years, the consumption of animal food and oil has been increasing, the consumption of cereal food has decreased, and the intake of vegetables and fruits is insufficient. This change has increased the risk of overweight, obesity and other chronic diseases among Chinese residents. At the same time, the production and consumption of prepackaged food are increasing in China, which will have a greater impact on residents.

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therefore, providing nutritional information in food labels will play a role in promoting the dietary nutrition balance of residents, preventing and reducing nutritional diseases, and promoting health. The order, claim and function claim of nutritional components are regulated in nutrition label, which makes the labeling of nutrition information more standardized, protects consumers’ right to know, and helps the public to understand nutrition knowledge, guide healthy dietary pattern and protect health. The use of food nutrition labels will also promote food enterprises to produce products beneficial to consumer health, such as low-fat and low salt products. Food nutrition labeling has been attached great importance by international organizations and many countries. Many countries have formulated relevant regulations and standards, which play an important role in protecting the health of their residents and food trade. The implementation of nutrition labeling will undoubtedly increase the packaging cost of production enterprises, but from the perspective of the whole social resources, it will help to create more social benefits. The total cost of nutrition labeling in the United States has been 1.5 billion US dollars for 20 years, but the total benefit obtained by reducing the risk of death and medical expenses is 4.2 billion US dollars. The market share of unhealthy products has declined after Australia and New Zealand imposed nutrition labeling. If the mandatory implementation of nutrition labeling regulations is delayed for one year, 320-460 people will die each year, and the health system will spend 47-67 million dollars more. In the 20 years since the implementation of nutrition labeling in Canada, food companies have only increased costs by US $300 million, but the whole country can save us $5.3 billion in direct and indirect costs, including reducing the treatment costs of cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, and other economic losses caused by the loss of productivity. It is estimated that the full implementation of nutrition labelling in Hong Kong will bring about a net economic benefit of HK $900-1.6 billion per year. Therefore, the small label, the big role is nothing!

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