Most people think buying this kind of products help with weight loss but in reality, many light foods do not contribute to a low calorie or hypocaloric diet. 

The results of a study that included 941 adolescents about the connection between eating light and diet products and the nutritional value, perception and body image satisfaction, showed that people with an overweight and obesity perception were most likely to eat more than teenagers with a better nutritional value (according to the body mass index), demonstrating that better guidelines are required for the correct use of this type of products. (Branco Lucia Martín, 2006)

Despite the increasing consumption of diet and light foods, consumers are not clear of the difference between them resulting in the incorrect use of these products.

For this reason we are going to explain the difference between each one.

What does light food mean?

It is food with a partial reduction of ingredients or calories by 33% compared to the original product.  

According to the 333 Resolution of the Ministry of Social Protection of Colombia in 2011, requirements of technical regulation of nutritional labels were established for two packaged food goods:

  1. Reduced: The reduction of calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars to a minimum level of 25% compared to another product of reference.

  2. Light: The reduction of at least 50% of calories, sugars or sweeteners.


 What are diet foods?

Food products that are modified in their composition allowing people to consume nutrients they normally would not be able to eat due to a medical condition.

These diet products can have ingredients added, removed or replaced in their formulation. For example, gluten free for celiac symptoms. No added sugar for diabetics. Fat free for high cholesterol and low sodium for high blood pressure. 

The invitation is for consumers to carefully read the food labels before purchase in order to know what type of food they are eating and to ensure they are meeting their nutritional requirements.

Author: Maritza Grisales, Food Engineer

Taken from:

Branco Lucia Marin, H. M. (2006). Relación entre el consumo de alimentos dietéticos y dietéticos con el estado nutricional, percepción y satisfacción de la imagen corporal en adolescentes . Biblioteca virtual em saúde, 1-10.

Ministerio de la protección social. (15 de Febrero de 2011). Resolución 333 . Taken from https://www.icbf.gov.co/cargues/avance/docs/resolucion_minproteccion_0333_2011.htm