What the new FDA ‘healthy’ definition means for food labeling, consumers

Foods that claim to be “healthy” on their packaging will soon be subject to a new set of labeling guidelines, part of an effort by the US Food and Drug Administration.

the FDA announced the new rules on Wednesday.

The proposed update will ensure that food labels with “health” content claims are better aligned with current nutritional science, the updated Nutrition Facts label, and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

PHOTO: A woman grocery shopping examines a food label while holding a shopping basket in an undated file photo.

FILE PHOTO/D3sign/Getty Images

A woman grocery shopping examines a food label while holding a shopping basket in an undated file photo.

For example, foods like salmon, despite having a higher fat content, can now be labeled “healthy” as it is a nutrient-rich food.

According to the FDA, “the proposed rule would update the definition of ‘healthy’ claim to better explain how all nutrients in various food groups contribute and can work synergistically to create healthy dietary patterns and improve health.”

“Diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, are the leading causes of death and disability in the US and have a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority groups,” he said in a statement FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD. on Wednesday. “Today’s action is an important step in achieving a number of nutrition-related priorities, including empowering consumers with information to choose healthier diets and establishing healthy eating habits from the start. It can also result in a more balanced food supply. healthier”.

The FDA’s moves are part of a broader push against hunger by President Biden. The changes were announced ahead of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

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The FDA also plans to move nutrition labels from the back to the front of a food package to help consumers “with less nutritional literacy.”

The newly proposed rule on healthy labels is part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to help improve the nutrition and dietary patterns of consumers to ultimately help reduce the burden of chronic disease and promote health equity.

According to the FDA, 80% of Americans they don’t eat enough vegetables, fruits, and dairy products, and most consume too much added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.

“Nutrition is key to improving the health of our nation,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Healthy foods can lower our risk of chronic disease. But too many people may not know what constitutes healthy eating. The FDA’s action will help educate more Americans to improve health outcomes, address health disparities, and save lifes”.

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