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Table 3 Examples of publicly available commitments and their scorings for BIA-Obesity Malaysia

From: Benchmarking the transparency, comprehensiveness and specificity of population nutrition commitments of major food companies in Malaysia

DomainIndicatorExample commitmentScoring criteriaScore
Corporate StrategyDoes the company have an overarching commitment to population nutrition and health articulated in strategic documents (e.g., mission statement, strategies, or overarching policies)?“… we have been in the country for more than… Our key commitments: (a) Launch more nutritious foods and beverages, especially for mothers-to-be, new mothers and children; (b) further decrease sugars, sodium and saturated fat in our foods and beverages; (c) apply and explain nutrition information on packs, at point of sale and online; (d) offer guidance on portions for our products; (e) market to children only choices that help them achieve a nutritious diet…”10: Yes, a national-level commitment, publicly available
7.5: Yes, a global-level commitment, publicly available
5: Yes, a national- or global-level commitment, but not publicly-available OR some commitment but weak in nature
0: No clear commitments to improving population nutrition and health
Product formulationDoes the company publish a comprehensive set of commitments or objectives related to new product development and reformulating its existing products with respect to reducing the nutrients of concern and energy (salt, saturated fats, trans fats, added sugar and kilojoules)?“It also has on-going efforts to provide healthier options with reduced sugar, fat and sodium content via its ‘Lite’ range, a growing organic selection, variants that suit a plethora of tastes from mild to super spicy, whilst innovating in terms of packaging.”10: Yes, specific national-level commitments/ objectives that are publicly available or specific global commitments/objectives that include specific reference to the country or market in question
7.5: Yes, specific global commitments/ objectives that could specifically apply to the country in question that are publicly available
5: Has specific national-level commitments/ objectives, but not publicly available (e.g. disclose to INFORMAS team).
2.5: Has national or global-level commitments/ objectives in this area that are available publicly, but these commitments/ objectives are vague and non-specific
0: No
Nutrition labellingDoes the company commit to use a ‘comprehensive’* FOP labelling system?
*‘Comprehensive’ refers to beyond a single icon for ‘energy’ e.g. traffic lights, warning labels, healthy stars, healthier choice logo and etc.
“The Healthier Choice Logo (HCL) was launched in Malaysia by the Ministry of Health. It is in line with the National Plan of Action for Nutrition Malaysia (NPANM) III (2016–2025) to promote healthy eating and active living for all. This initiative is based on the same principles as the Choice labelling programme and other voluntary labelling programmes around the world… (the company) is committed to delivering the tastiest and healthiest product options in every category… To-date, (the company) has 41 recipes that are certified with HCL logo.”10: Symbols or logos (e.g. health stars, traffic light, warning labels, etc.) that indicate healthy products, applied across all product categories
7.5: Symbols or logos (e.g. national endorsed system - Healthier Choice Logo, Healthier Choice Symbol) that indicate healthy products, applied across some product categories.
5: Numeric information on levels of key nutrients (e.g. sodium, total fat, saturated fat or total sugar) applied across all product categories,
2.5: Numeric information on levels of key nutrients (e.g. sodium, total fat, saturated fat or total sugar) applied across SOME product categories,
0: No FOP labelling OR energy FOP labelling.
Promotion practicesTo what age group(s) does the broadcast marketing policy apply?“… we will not address advertising communications to audiences consisting primarily of pre-school age children, i.e. those who are younger than six years old.”10: 18 years and/ or under
8: 16 years and/ or under
6: 14 years and/ or under
4: 12 years and/ or under
2: Under 10 years
0: No policy / no information
Product accessibilityDoes the company’s policy position support WHO’s position on fiscal policies to make healthier foods relatively cheaper and non-core foods relatively more expensive, as articulated in the WHO Global Action Plan for NCDs and the Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, Recommendation 1.2)?“… changes in tax laws and unanticipated tax liabilities could adversely affect the taxes we pay and our profitability… Any increases in income tax rates, changes in income tax laws or unfavourable resolution of tax matters could have a material adverse impact on our financial results.”10: Strong support (e.g., includes support for taxes on non-core foods, broadly defined, as well as subsidies for healthy foods)
5: Weak support (e.g., includes support for taxes on non-core foods, narrowly defined, or subsidies for healthy foods)
0: No details available
−10: Strongly opposed (e.g., opposes soft drinks tax or non-core foods tax OR both taxes)
Relationships with external organisationsDoes the company publish details of its political donations? (when not prohibited by government policy)?“According to the local Code of Business Ethics Conducts, “no political contribution (i.e. such as funds, assets and gifts) shall be made by or on behalf of the Company”.”10: Yes, information on national-level activity is publicly available (on a company website or document) OR declaration of no activity in this area
5: Yes, global policy (i.e. does not specifically mention Malaysia) and disclose to INFORMAS team that it applies in Malaysia.
0: No
  1. Abbreviations: FOP front-of-pack, HCL Healthier Choice Logo, INFORMAS International Network for Food and Obesity/ NCDs Research, Monitoring and Action Support, NCDs non-communicable diseases, WHO World Health Organization