After decades, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a new definition of “healthy” as a nutrient content claim. This update is related to the advancements in nutritional science. The purpose of this update is to help promote foods that offer consumers essential nutrients from key food groups, like fruits and vegetables.
The original “healthy” claim definition was created in 1994, which included limits for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. This restriction left many foods, like nuts, seeds, and avocados, unable to use the claim. The FDA also says the proposal aligns with their goals to help foster a healthier food supply, empower consumers with the information they need to make healthier choices, and reduce diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
According to Mintel, 53% of U.S. adults would like to eat healthier. With consumers consistently seeking guidance on healthier food options, this update will give brands the opportunity to promote just that. It will emphasize more nutrient-dense foods while continuing to encourage changes like sugar reduction and sodium reduction.