Menu Close

A Fit-for-Purpose Nutrient Profiling Model to Underpin Food and Nutrition Policies in South Africa


Frank, Tamryn; Thow, Anne-Marie; Ng, Shu Wen; Ostrowski, Jessica D.; Bopape, Makoma; & Swart, Elizabeth C. (2021). A Fit-for-Purpose Nutrient Profiling Model to Underpin Food and Nutrition Policies in South Africa. Nutrients, 13(8), 2584. PMCID: PMC8401225


South Africa (SA) is facing a rising prevalence of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. The government is seeking to develop effective, evidence-based policy measures to address this. A well-designed, fit-for-purpose nutrient profiling model (NPM) can aid policy development. The aim of this study was to develop a fit-for-purpose NPM in SA. Steps included: (1) determining the purpose and target population; (2) selecting appropriate nutrients and other food components to include; (3) selecting a suitable NPM type, criteria and base; and (4) selecting appropriate numbers and thresholds. As part of the evaluation, the nutritional composition of packaged foods containing nutritional information (n = 6747) in the SA food supply chain was analyzed, a literature review was undertaken and various NPMs were evaluated. Our findings indicated that it is most appropriate to adapt an NPM and underpin regulation with a restrictive NPM that limits unhealthy food components. The Chile 2019 NPM was identified as suitable to adapt, and total sugar, saturated fat, sodium and non-sugar sweetener were identified as appropriate to restrict. This NPM has the potential to underpin restrictive policies, such as front-of-package labelling and child-directed marketing regulations in SA. These policies will support the fight against obesity and NCDs in the country.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title



Frank, Tamryn
Thow, Anne-Marie
Ng, Shu Wen
Ostrowski, Jessica D.
Bopape, Makoma
Swart, Elizabeth C.

Article Type





South Africa


Ng - 0000-0003-0582-110X