FDA Proposes New Definition of “Healthy” on Food Packages


    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed new draft guidelines for food manufacturers who want to label their products as “healthy.” This term was last defined in the 1990s. According to the FDA, “our current definition permits manufacturers to use the claim ‘healthy’ on some foods that, based on the most up-to-date nutrition science and Federal dietary guidance, contain levels of nutrients that would not help consumers maintain healthy dietary practices.”

    The proposed change requires foods labelled as “healthy” to contain a minimum amount of food from one of the food groups recommended by the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, protein foods, and plant oils; and also to contain low levels of salt, added sugar, and saturated fat. The FDA may allow products meeting these standards to display an “FDA Healthy” icon on the front-of-package.

    This proposal is aimed at helping consumers make informed choices about the foods that should form the basis of their dietary pattern. Either electronic or written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted before December 29, 2022.


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