Many nutrition and/or health symbols were introduced in different countries in the past years and Slovenia is no exception. The objective of our study was to examine familiarity with and perception of the Protective Food symbol (PF symbol) in Slovenia and to investigate consumers' associations related to the symbol, and the influence of symbols' appearance on their preferences. The study was conducted through online questionnaire with incorporated word-association tasks and conjoint analysis; GfK consumer panel and social media (Facebook) were used for recruitment of Slovenian adults (n = 1050; 534 men, 516 women). The majority (78%) of the participants reported they had previously seen the PF symbol, and 64% declared familiarity with it. Familiarity was verified using a word-association task in which we analysed the nature of the symbol's description, distinguishing the description of symbol's visual appearance or its meaning. In this task, 73% of the participants described the symbol's meaning with reference to health or a healthy lifestyle, confirming their familiarity with it. Women and those responsible for grocery shopping were significantly more familiar with the symbol. The impact of the symbol's appearance on consumers' preferences was investigated using conjoint analysis consisting of two attributes – three different symbols found on foods in Slovenia (PF symbol, Choices Programme symbol and Keyhole symbol), and accompanying worded claims. Although worded claims had less relative importance (29.5%) than the symbols (70.5%), we show that careful choice of the wording can affect consumers' preferences considerably. The lowest part-worth utility was observed without an accompanying claim, and the highest for the claim directly communicating health (“Protects your health”). The fact that most participants are well familiar with the PF symbol indicates the symbol's potential to promote healthier food choices, which could be further improved by an accompanying worded claim that clearly describes its meaning. In addition, the use of Facebook ads is shown to be a useful alternative recruitment method for research with consumers.
Objectives: The marketing of energy-dense foods is recognised as a probable causal factor in children's overweight and obesity. To stimulate policymakers to start using nutrient profiling to restrict food marketing, a harmonised model was recently proposed by the WHO. Our objective is to evaluate the television advertising of foods in Slovenia using the above-mentioned model. Methods: An analysis is performed using a representative dataset of 93,902 food-related advertisements broadcast in Slovenia in year 2013. The advertisements are linked to specific foods, which are then subject to categorisation according to the WHO and UK nutrient profile model. Results: Advertising of chocolate and confectionery represented 37% of food-related advertising in all viewing times, and 77% in children's (4-9 years) viewing hours. During these hours, 96% of the food advertisements did not pass the criteria for permitted advertising according to the WHO profile model. Conclusions: Evidence from Slovenia shows that, in the absence of efficient regulatory marketing restrictions, television advertising of food to children is almost exclusively linked to energy-dense foods. Minor modifications of the proposed WHO nutrient profile model are suggested.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural constituent of foods and is also often used in functional foods, supplements and cosmetics, claiming a number of potential benefitial effects, includion related with skin condition. However, the existing data about the effect of dietary intake of CoQ10 on skin parameters and condition are scarce. To gain an insight into this issue, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment with 33 healthy subjects. Our objective was to investigate the effects of 12 weeks of daily supplementation with 50 mg and 150 mg of CoQ10 on skin parameters and condition. While the results of some previous in vitro studies showed possible protection in UVB response, we did not observe significant changes in the minimal erythema dose. Supplementation with CoQ10 did also not significantly affect skin hydration and dermis thickness. On the other hand, the intake of CoQ10 limited seasonal deterioration of viscoelasticity.
Objective. Adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables is a part of recommendations for a healthy diet. The aim of the present study was to assess acute cumulative dietary exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides via fruit and vegetable consumption by the population of schoolchildren aged 11–12 years and the level of risk for their health. Desig.n Cumulative probabilistic risk assessment methodology with the index compound approach was applied. Setting. Slovenia, primary schools. Subjects. Schoolchildren (n 1145) from thirty-one primary schools in Slovenia. Children were part of the PRO GREENS study 2009/10 which assessed 11-year-olds’ consumption of fruit and vegetables in ten European countries. Results. The cumulative acute exposure amounted to 8·3 (95 % CI 7·7, 10·6) % of the acute reference dose (ARfD) for acephate as index compound (100 µg/kg body weight per d) at the 99·9th percentile for daily intake and to 4·5 (95 % CI 3·5, 4·7) % of the ARfD at the 99·9th percentile for intakes during school time and at lunch. Apples, bananas, oranges and lettuce contributed most to the total acute pesticides intake. Conclusions. The estimations showed that acute dietary exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides is not a health concern for schoolchildren with the assessed dietary patterns of fruit and vegetable consumption.
Salt iodisation is considered a key public health measure for assuring adequate iodine intake in iodine-deficient countries. In Slovenia, the iodisation of all salt was made mandatory in 1953. A considerable regulatory change came in 2003 with the mandatory iodisation of rock and evaporated salt only. In addition, joining the European Union’s free single market in 2004 enabled the import of non-iodised salt. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent of salt iodising in the food supply. We examined both the availability and sale of (non-)iodised salt. Average sales-weighted iodine levels in salt were calculated using the results of a national monitoring of salt quality. Data on the availability and sales of salts were collected in major food retailers in 2014. Iodised salt represented 59.2% of the salt samples, with an average (sales-weighted) level of 24.2 mg KI/kg of salt. The average sales-weighted KI level in non-iodised salts was 3.5 mg KI/kg. Ve can conclude taht the regulatory changes and the EU single market have considerably affected the availability of non-iodised salt. While sales of non-iodised salt are still low, non-iodised salt represented 33.7% of the salts in our sample. This indicates the existence of a niche market which could pose a risk of inadequate iodine intake in those who deliberately decide to consume non-iodised salt only. Policymakers need to provide efficient salt iodisation intervention to assure sufficient iodine supply in the future.