IFT Comments on the Use of the Term 'Healthy' in the Labeling of Human Food Products

April 26, 2017


IFT provided written comments to specific questions posed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the “Use of the term 'Healthy' in the Labeling of Human Food Products.” IFT expressed concern that labeling an individual food as ‘healthy’ can be misleading for consumers. IFT recommended that if food and beverage products bear the term ‘healthy,’ it should be used in the context of overall diet to help promote healthy eating patterns. Diets should be comprised of diverse foods and beverages across various food categories, as noted in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Further, consumers should be mindful of the amount and frequency of each of the foods and beverages they consume, in context of the overall diet. IFT suggested a food-based definition of the word ‘healthy’ which combines nutrient limits and a statement describing how the food helps achieve dietary recommendations. Foods which exceed the recommended limits for sodium, added sugars and saturated fat should be excluded from labeling as ‘healthy.’

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