Defining Healthy

Late last year, the FDA made a request for public input as it works to redefine the nutrient content claim, “healthy,” for food labels.

What does “healthy” mean? That’s the question the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to clarify as consumers search for nutritious foods in stores[1].

Late last year, the FDA made a request for public input as it works to redefine the nutrient content claim, “healthy,” for food labels.[2] Consumers will soon see updated Nutrition Facts labels on food packages, including more emphasis on the calorie content and serving sizes of products and amounts of added sugars, vitamin D and potassium.[3] While the Nutrition Facts label is helpful to many shoppers, consumers often choose their products quickly, and perhaps read other claims that may be more readily visible on food packages, such as “healthy,” “low in sodium,” or “good source,” instead of studying the details of the nutrition label.[4] Therefore, the FDA is reevaluating their current definition of “healthy”[5] so that food manufacturers can place the claim on the front of packages of foods that meet the updated standards, and thereby aid consumers who want to make swift, nutritious food choices.[6]

The agency is exploring current dietary recommendations, public health issues, and other factors in order to determine what criteria should be included in the new definition of the “healthy” claim.[7] The FDA’s goals of reviewing “healthy” and other label claims include enabling consumers to more easily identify foods that better align with public health recommendations, and prompting food manufacturers to create foods that meet the updated “healthy” labeling criteria.[8]

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Sources/Legal

[1]U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “’Healthy’ on Food Labeling.” Last updated 29 Dec 2016. Accessed on 18 Jan 2017. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm520695.htm

[1] Balentine, Douglas. “Making Sure ‘Healthy’ Means What It Says on Food Packages.” 27 Sep 2016. FDA Voice. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Accessed on 18 Jan 2016. Retrieved from http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2016/09/making-sure-healthy-means-what-it-says-on-food-packages/

[1]U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label.” Last updated 17 Jan 2017. Accessed on 18 Jan 2017. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm

[1] Balentine, Douglas.

[1]U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “Guidance for Industry: Use of the Term “Healthy” in the Labeling of Human Food Products.” Sep 2016. Last updated 07 Dec 2016. Accessed on 18 Jan 2017. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/ucm521690.htm

[1] Balentine, Douglas.

[1] Balentine, Douglas.

[1] Balentine, Douglas.