Health claims made on multivitamin and mineral supplements

  • Jelena Jovičić Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21 000 Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Budimka Novaković Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21 000 Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Maja Grujičić Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21 000 Novi Sad, Serbia.
  • Fatima Jusupović Faculty of Health Studies, University of Sarajevo, Bolnička 25, 71 000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Slobodan Mitrović Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21 000 Novi Sad, Serbia
Keywords: health claims, consumers, perception of health claims, dietary supplements

Abstract

Introduction: Basic purpose of health claims is consumers' benefit by providing information about healthy eating habits. It is necessary for health claims to be scientifically substantiated and truthful. Health claims should not attribute to food the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease. Use of health claims should be followed by a statement indicating the importance of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. The objective of this research was to examine the compliance of health claims made on multivitamin and mineral dietary supplements' labels on the Serbian market with national regulation concerning health safety of dietary products.
Methods: An assessment of labels of MVMs was done in two privately owned pharmacies in Novi Sad, Serbia in August 2010.
Results: In total, 48 MVMs were sampled and 22 health claims were detected. Seven out of 22 health claims were in compliance with the national regulation. The main reason for health claims on foreign MVMs not to be compliant with the regulation in Serbia was inadequate or nonexistent translation of original labels.
Conclusion: Detected use of terms such as "prevention", "treatment" and "indications" on vitamin and mineral dietary supplements' labels is both forbidden and misleading to consumers. Coupled with inadequate or nonexistent translation of the labels, it leads to a low level of protection of Serbian consumers. It is necessary to establish an effective monitoring system for dietary supplements' labeling on a national scale in order to
protect consumers and their wellbeing.

References

Codex Alimentarius. Guidelines for use of nutrition and health claims (CAC/GL 23-1997). Codex Alimentarius;1997.

Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods. Official Journal of the European Union 2007;L12/3-18.

Pravilnik o zdravstvenoj ispravnosti dijetetskih namirnica. Sl. Glasnik RS 45/10. 2010.

Jovičić J, Novaković B, Torović Lj. Health claims made on food. Vojnosanit Pregl 2011;68(3):266-9.

Aggett PJ, Antoine JM, Asp NG, Bellisle F, Contor L, Cummings JH et al. PASSCLAIM process for the assessment of scientific support for claims on foods: Consensus on Criteria. Eur J Nutr 2005; 44(Suppl 1):I/1–I/2

Asp NG, Bryngelsson S. Health Claims in Europe: New Legislation and PASSCLAIM for Substantiation. J Nutr 2008;138(6):1210S-5S 7. Hawkes K. Nutrition Labels & Health Claims: the global regulatory environment.WHO, 2004.

Wills JM, Schmidt DB, Pillo-Blocka F, Cairns G. Exploring global consumer attitudes toward nutrition information on food labels. Nutr Rev 2009;69(Suppl 1):102-6.

Reinhardt Kapaska W, Schmidta D, Childsb NM, Meunierc J, Whitec C. Consumer perceptions of graded, graphic and text label presentations for qualified health claims. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2008; 48(3): 248-56.

COI Communications. Review and analysis of current literature on consumer understanding of nutrition and health claims made on food. COI Communications on behalf of FSA;2007.

Bailey RL, Gahche JJ, Lentino CV, Dwyer JT, Engel JS, Thomas PR et al. Dietary supplement use in the United States, 2003–2006. J Nutr 2011;141(2):261-6.

Food Standards Agency. Health claims on food packaging: consumer related qualitative research. Final report. London, UK; FSA: 2002.

Gilsenan MB. Nutrition & health claims in the European Union: A regulatory overview. Trends in Food Science & Technology 2011. Article in press. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2011.03.004

Kleiner J. Development of EFSA opinions on claims including suggested wording. Presented at the Health and nutrition claims national implementation seminar, 2010. [Cited 2011 April 30]. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/docs/doc2_nat_impl_reg_20100309.pdf

Chung-Tung JL. How Do Consumers Interpret Health Messages on Food Labels? Nutrition Today 2008;43(6):267-72.

Central Intelligence Agency. CIA Factbook. Field listing: median age. [Cited 2011 April 30]. Available from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2177.html

Statistički godišnjak Republike Srbije. Beograd (Serbia): Republički zavod za statistiku; 2010.

Stanovništvo. Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova u 2002. Školska sprema i pismenost. Beograd (Serbia): Republički zavod za statistiku;2003.

Williams P. Consumer understanding and use of health claims for foods.Nutr Rev 2005; 63: 256–64.

Published
2011-12-15
How to Cite
Jovičić, J., Novaković, B., Grujičić, M., Jusupović, F. and Mitrović, S. (2011) “Health claims made on multivitamin and mineral supplements”, Journal of Health Sciences, 1(3), pp. 175 - 179. doi: 10.17532/jhsci.2011.134.
Section
Research articles