Chile has undergone major demographic, epidemiological, and nutrition transitions over the past 50 years and currently has the highest prevalence of obesity in Latin America. Non-communicable diseases account for 83% of all deaths in Chile, for which over-nutrition and obesity are both major determinants. Massive increases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has helped fuel these trends. From 2009–2014, Chile saw the fastest absolute growth of SSB sales in the world, and in 2014, Chile had the highest per-person daily calories sold from SSBs in the world. To combat these trends, Chile has implemented the most comprehensive set of obesity-preventive regulations to date in the world, including a sugary drink tax, a front-of-package warning label system, and restrictions on marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods and drinks. Staggered implementation of these regulations across four years allows us to evaluate the policies’ independent and joint impacts.
Our evaluations to date: In collaboration with our research partners in Chile, we have evaluated early impacts of the Chilean sugary drink tax and Phase 1 of the Law of Nutritional Composition of Food and Advertising and its combined warning label, marketing restriction, and school sales policies. Early data indicate that within the first year of implementation, these policies were already impacting the foods and drinks Chileans buy and consume as well as the public’s perceptions of junk foods targeted by the policies.
We will continue our work in Chile through 2023 in order to evaluate all three phases of the Law of Nutritional Composition of Food and Advertising.
Ley 20.780 | Implemented October 1, 2014
Beverage tax law
For all non-alcoholic drinks with with coloring, flavoring, or caloric sweeteners:
- 18% ad valorem tax on drinks containing >6.25 g sugar/100 mL (5% increase from previous rate of 13%)
- 10% ad valorem tax on drinks with ≤6.25 g sugar/100 mL (3% decrease from previous rate of 13%)
Exempt: 100% fruit juice and dairy-based beverages
Ley 20.606 | Implemented June 27, 2016
Law of Food Labeling and Advertising
This law introduced mandatory front-of package labeling, marketing restrictions, and school sales/marketing policies, which all use same nutrient profiling model to identify which products are subject to regulation. Packaged food and beverage products containing added sugars, sodium, or saturated fat and exceeding set thresholds for content of total sugar, sodium, saturated fat, or overall calories are considered “high in” products subject to all regulations. The law was implemented in three phases (in June of 2016, 2018, and 2019) with increasingly strict nutrient thresholds.
- Front-of-package warning labels: “High in” products must carry black octagon “stop sign” octagonal warning labels for each nutrient in excess of thresholds (calories, sugar, saturated fat, and/or sodium). Products with a “high in” warning label for a given nutrient/calories cannot carry a health/nutrient claim related to that nutrient (or calorie content).
- Marketing restrictions: “High in” products may not use child-directed marketing strategies or appeals in any media/marketing (including use of brand characters on packaging);
- School sales & marketing: “High in” products cannot be marketed, sold, or offered for free at kiosks, cafeterias, and feeding programs at schools and nurseries.
Jensen ML, Carpentier FD, Corvalán C, Popkin BM, Evenson KR, Adair L, Taillie LS. Television viewing and using screens while eating: Associations with dietary intake in children and adolescents. Appetite. 2021 Sep 1:105670. view full text
Taillie LS, Bercholz M, Popkin B, Reyes M, Colchero MA, Corvalán C. Changes in food purchases after the Chilean policies on food labelling, marketing, and sales in schools: a before and after study. The Lancet Planetary Health. 2021 Aug 1;5(8):e526-33. view full text
Mediano Stoltze F, Busey E, Taillie LS, Carpentier FR. Impact of warning labels on reducing health halo effects of nutrient content claims on breakfast cereal packages: A mixed-measures experiment. Appetite. 2021 Aug 1;163:105229. view full text
Jensen ML, Carpentier FR, Adair L, Corvalán C, Popkin BM, Taillie LS. TV advertising and dietary intake in adolescents: a pre-and post-study of Chile’s Food Marketing Policy. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2021 Dec;18(1):1-1. view full text
Jensen ML, Carpentier FD, Adair L, Corvalán C, Popkin BM, Taillie LS. Examining Chile's unique food marketing policy: TV advertising and dietary intake in preschool children, a pre‐and post‐policy study. Pediatric Obesity. 2021 Apr;16(4):e12735. view full text
Reyes M, Smith Taillie L, Popkin B, Kanter R, Vandevijvere S, Corvalán C. Changes in the amount of nutrient of packaged foods and beverages after the initial implementation of the Chilean Law of Food Labelling and Advertising: A nonexperimental prospective study. PLOS Medicine. 2020 Jul 28;17(7):e1003220. view full text
Correa T, Reyes M, Taillie LS, Corvalán C, Dillman Carpentier FR. Food advertising on television before and after a national unhealthy food marketing regulation in Chile, 2016–2017. American Journal of Public Health. 2020 Jul;110(7):1054-9. view full text
Dillman Carpentier FR, Correa T, Reyes M, Taillie LS. Evaluating the impact of Chile’s marketing regulation of unhealthy foods and beverages: Pre-school and adolescent children’s changes in exposure to food advertising on television. Public Health Nutrition. 2020 Mar;23(4):747. view full text
Taillie LS, Reyes M, Colchero MA, Popkin BM, Corvalán C. (2020). An evaluation of Chile’s Law of Food Labeling and Advertising on sugar-sweetened beverage purchases from 2015 to 2017: A before-and-after study. PLOS Med 17(2): e1003015. view full text
Caro JC, Valizadeh P, Correa A, Silva A, Ng SW. Combined fiscal policies to promote healthier diets: Effects on purchases and consumer welfare. PLOS One. 2020 Jan 15;15(1):e0226731. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226731. eCollection 2020. view full text
Correa T, Fierro C, Reyes M, Carpentier FRD, Taillie LS, and Corvalan C. (2019). Responses to the Chilean Law of Food Labeling and Advertising: Exploring knowledge, perceptions and behaviors of mothers of young children. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 16(1): 21. view full text
Rebolledo N, Reyes M, Corvalán C, Popkin BM, Smith Taillie L. Dietary Intake by Food Source and Eating Location in Low- and Middle-Income Chilean Preschool Children and Adolescents from Southeast Santiago. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 23;11(7). view full text
Jensen ML, Corvalán C, Reyes M, Popkin BM, Taillie LS. Snacking patterns among Chilean children and adolescents: is there potential for improvement? Public Health Nutr. 2019 May 24:1-10. [Epub ahead of print] view full text
Correa T, Reyes M, Smith Taillie LP, Dillman Carpentier FR. The prevalence and audience reach of food and beverage advertising on Chilean television according to marketing tactics and nutritional quality of products. Public Health Nutr. 2019 Apr;22(6):1113-1124. view full text