U.S – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended an amendment to the requirements for using ‘healthy’ labels on food packaging, so as to be consistent with present nutrition science, the Nutrition Facts label and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The proposed rule intends to more accurately take into account how nutrients from different food groups interact and contribute to the formation of healthy dietary patterns and improvements in 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 disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minority groups.
“Today’s action is an important step toward accomplishing a number of nutrition-related priorities, which include empowering consumers with information to choose healthier diets and establishing healthy eating habits early. It can also result in a healthier food supply,” Robert M Califf, FDA commissioner said.
Under the prospective new rule, food products advertised as ’healthy‘ would need to contain a ‘meaningful‘ amount of food from one of the food groups or subgroups suggested by Dietary Guidelines. Among these food groups and subgroups are fruits, vegetables and dairy.
Furthermore, items would have to adhere to strict guidelines for certain nutrients like sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.
These restrictions, which are based on the proportion of a nutrient’s Daily Value (DV), differ for each food and food group. The limit for sodium is 10% of the DV per serving (230 milligrams per serving).
The new proposal is a component of FDA’s ongoing efforts to enhance dietary habits and nutrition in the US.
“Today’s action is an important step toward accomplishing a number of nutrition-related priorities, which include empowering consumers with information to choose healthier diets and establishing healthy eating habits early. It can also result in a healthier food supply.”
Robert M Califf, FDA commissioner
It has been discovered that more than 80% of the nation’s population consumes “excessive amounts” of added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium but insufficient amounts of vegetables, fruit, and dairy, Packaging Gateway reports.
The initiatives come after a corresponding national strategy was unveiled with the goal of eradicating hunger, enhancing nutrition, lowering diseases linked to diet, and eliminating disparities by 2030.
“Nutrition is key to improving our nation’s health. Healthy food can lower our risk for chronic disease. But too many people may not know what constitutes healthy food. FDA’s move will help educate more Americans to improve health outcomes, tackle health disparities and save lives,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
As part of these initiatives, the FDA plans to in the near future, create a front-of-package (FOP) labeling system to more effectively and swiftly convey nutritional information to consumers, to enable them to make healthy decisions.
They also plan to disseminate new education and outreach activities to ensure that parents and other caregivers are informed of the most recent guidelines for healthy eating in young children and for taking precautions to limit exposure to hazardous ingredients in food.