Food and Nutrition Sciences

Volume 10, Issue 7 (July 2019)

ISSN Print: 2157-944X   ISSN Online: 2157-9458

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.04  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Are Functional Foods Marketed in Honduras a Healthy Option?

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DOI: 10.4236/fns.2019.107053    331 Downloads   854 Views  Citations


Background: Functional foods have been proposed as vehicles to prevent diseases in response to disease increase throughout the world. Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study. The nutritional labeling of processed functional foods (PFF) commercially available in Honduras was examined to consider health benefits based on functionality according to the Central American Technical Regulation (CATR) and critical nutrient content according to the profile of the Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO). Results: Out of a national sample of 631 commercial processed foods (CPF), 144 were defined as functional; sweetened and flavored yogurts and cereal bars reached the highest proportions (70% and 66%) of products available in their respective categories. None of the categories was on average “low in calories” according to criteria of CATR; sweetened breakfast cereals were the most caloric (180 kcal) and only sweetened juices had “calorie free” products (15%). Prepared meat did not meet the criterion of “low cholesterol” even though all the products in this category were the reduced fat version of the original CPF. All categories of cereal-based products met the “source of dietary fiber” criteria and 64% of baked products were “high in dietary fiber”. More than 70% of PFF exceeded the sugar recommendation of the PAHO profile, mainly sweetened breakfast cereals (100%) and sweetened juices (93%). 49% of the products exceeded the sodium recommendation, particularly baked products (100%) and cheeses (86%); 100% of the later exceeded the recommendation of total fats. More than 60% of products simultaneously exceeded between 2 and 3 of PAHO profile criteria; 5% exceeded all the criteria and 4% met all the PAHO profile criteria. The average price of PFF was $2.34, while that of conventional products was $1.87; sweetened breakfast cereals were the most expensive ($3.49 and $3.28) and sweetened juices were the cheapest ($1.79 and $1.89) for both CPF and PFF. Conclusions: PFF marketed in Honduras have an excessive content of critical nutrients. These results demonstrate the need for a rigorous and mandatory regulation in the production, advertising and sale of functional and conventional processed foods.

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Santana, A. , Motiño, S. and Di Iorio, A. (2019) Are Functional Foods Marketed in Honduras a Healthy Option?. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 10, 719-734. doi: 10.4236/fns.2019.107053.

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