The European Food Safety Authority published its scientific opinion on the application by Marks & Spencer PLC for an article 13.5 health claim relating to weight loss. The opinion stated that a cause and effect relationship had not been established.
Marks & Spencer’s dossier – which was assessed by EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) – was related to substantiation of a health claim for a carbohydrate to protein (CHO:P) ratio of less than or equal to 1.8 on an energy basis, in the context of an energy-restricted diet, for the reduction of body weight.
In its opinion, the NDA Panel confirmed that the constituent that is the subject of the health claim – a CHO:P ration of less than 1.8 – was ‘sufficiently characterised’ and that a reduction of body weight in the context of an energy-restricted diet ‘is a beneficial physiological effect.’
However, it found that no conclusions could be drawn from two unpublished studies investigating the effect of ready-to-eat meals with a CHO:P ratio ≤ 1.8 on body weight.
Of 14 published human intervention studies, EFSA noted that four out of seven studies lasting less than 12 weeks reported an effect of a positive effect on body weight in overweight or obese subject – however “no significant effect was observed in six out of the seven studies lasting 12 weeks or more.”
“The Panel considers that these studies do not provide evidence for a sustained effect of the food/constituent on body weight,” the EFSA report states.
“The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of a fixed CHO:P ratio ≤ 1.8 on an energy basis consumed in the context of an energy-restricted diet and reduction of body weight.”