FDA Proposes New “Healthy” Definition As Part of Comprehensive Biden Administration Nutrition and Health Initiatives | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

[co-author: Darby Hobbs]

Earlier this week, at the White House Conference on Hunger, Diet and Health, President Biden announced a goal to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so fewer Americans suffer from diet-related diseases. The strategy identifies actions to be taken across five guiding pillars: first, improving access to food and affordability, second, integrating nutrition and health, third, empowering all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices, and fourth, supporting physical activity for all, and ultimately improving nutrition and food security research. To achieve the third pillar, President Biden is proposing, among other things, developing a front-of-package labeling system for food packages, facilitating sodium reduction in the food supply by setting longer-term, voluntary sodium targets for industry, and finally updating nutritional criteria for to propose the indication “healthy” on food packaging. Following this announcement, the FDA released a proposed rule that would bring the requirements for using the word “healthy” in a statement into line with modern dietary guidelines.

What changes?

The proposed rule seeks to align the definition of “healthy” with current recommendations published in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. Accordingly, the proposed “healthy” definition uses a food group-based approach in addition to limiting nutrients (based on the understanding that each food group contributes a number of important nutrients to the diet), which has changed since 1994 when the current definition of “healthy ‘ was proclaimed. The proposed rule would also require that a food contains a certain amount of at least one of the food groups or subgroups (vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and protein foods) recommended by the dietary guidelines to use the claim “healthy”. For example, there must be at least ½ cup of fruit or vegetables, 3/4 cup of dairy, 1-1 1/2 ounces of protein depending on the variety, or no less than 3/4 ounces of whole grains. In addition, the new rule discards certain nutritional requirements as no longer relevant, while imposing limits on three specific nutrients – sodium, saturated fat and added sugars. The required quantities and limits are adjusted for each specific food group and for each type of item (a mixed product, a main dish, a meal). Finally, the proposed rule creates a group of foods, including raw and whole fruits and vegetables and water, that are automatically considered “healthy” and can use the claim without being subject to the requirements for food group equivalent amounts or the nutrients to be capped.

Also Read :  How Ultra-Processed Foods Cause Disease

How does the proposed rule compare to the new rule?

The current definition of “healthy” includes limits for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium to qualify; Food must also provide at least 10% of the daily requirement for one or more of the following nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein and fiber. Sugar (added or naturally occurring) is not addressed.

Also Read :  Eats of the Week | Carterville's Tri-C Nutrition serves up healthy shakes and drinks

The proposed definition requires the following: A food must contain a certain amount of food from at least one of the food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein foods, oils, mixed products, main course and meals); specific limits for added sugars, saturated fat and sodium are based on a percentage of the daily requirement for those nutrients; Raw and whole fruits and vegetables automatically qualify for a healthy claim. These requirements and limitations are shown in the following diagrams.

How does the proposed rule affect labels?

Although FDA needs to complete the disclosure and comment process, the industry now has the agency’s current thinking on what will be required. Given the investment required to change product labels and the potential for false advertising litigation related to labeling compliance in recent years, companies should consider whether a “healthy” claim remains an option, or whether it can become one Claim that you do not wish to do so is limited by a strict regulatory definition. In any case, manufacturers should pay attention to the “net impression” of the label, considering not only the label’s technical compliance, but also how the watchful eye of the Bar may interpret the claims.

Also Read :  Adding peanuts, spices to diet may improve gut health in 4–6 weeks

opportunity to comment

Once the proposed rule is published in the federal register, the FDA will review comments submitted within the next 90 days. In particular, the FDA has requested comment on: whether “nutrients to be promoted” should be included in addition to food groups; whether using food groups would help consumers better identify foods with a healthy nutrient content than a limited number of individual nutrients; whether their calculations for required amounts are reasonable; The scope of the dietary context and information to which the rule is intended to apply; Whether the rule should include adding the auto-healthy category; Whether the various upper limits for restricted nutrients are correct; What types of records should be kept; and Whether or not to automatically include water as “Healthy.”

[View source.]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.