FDA Takes New Approach to Healthy Food Labels
Is that food healthy? Well, what does the label say? The Food and Drug Administration last week proposed updated criteria for labeling foods with the nutrient content claim "healthy" on their packaging. The proposal comes the same day as the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
The rule would align the definition of the “healthy” claim with current nutrition science, the updated Nutrition Facts label and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FDA says more than 80 percent of people in the U.S. aren’t eating enough vegetables, fruit and dairy. And most people consume too much added sugars, saturated fat and sodium.
Under the proposed definition, in order to be labeled with the “healthy” claim on food packaging, the products would need to:
• Contain a certain meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups recommended by the Dietary Guidelines.
• Adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. The threshold for the limits is based on a percent of the Daily Value for the nutrient and varies depending on the food and food group.
And how would they show a food was healthy? Well, the agency is in the process of studying and exploring the development of a symbol that could be used on products that meets that “healthy” claims criteria