The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently published a proposed rule that, if implemented, would update the labeling standards that food products must meet in order to be labeled as “healthy.” The FDA first established a definition for “healthy” in 1994, and at that time nutrition science and federal dietary guidance focused more on the individual nutrients contained in food. According to the FDA, the proposed rule would “align the definition of ‘healthy’ with current nutrition science, the updated Nutrition Facts label and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” with the goal of assisting consumers to increase their consumption of under-consumed dietary components.
The proposed rule would achieve this goal by requiring “healthy” foods to contain a minimum quantity of at least one of the specified food groups or subgroups recommended by the Dietary Guidelines such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting over-consumed ingredients that may lead to negative health consequences such as sodium or added sugars. The FDA’s proposed framework for the updated definition of “healthy” focuses on ensuring that foods labeled as healthy can qualify to bear the title by helping consumers to build a diet consistent with current dietary recommendations. Continue reading ›