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FDA Proposes Updated Definition of ‘Healthy’ Claim on Food Packages

The proposed rule is part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to help consumers improve their diets and reduce chronic disease.

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The FDA has proposed updated criteria for when foods can be labeled with the nutrient content claim “healthy” on their packaging. The proposed rule would align the definition of the healthy claim with current nutrition science, the updated Nutrition Facts label, and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

The proposed rule would update the healthy claim definition to better account for how all the nutrients in various food groups contribute and may work synergistically to create healthy dietary patterns and improve health. Under the proposed definition for the updated healthy claim, which is based on current nutrition science, more foods that are part of a healthy dietary pattern and recommended by the Dietary Guidelines would be eligible to use the claim on their labeling, including nuts and seeds, higher fat fish, certain oils, and water.

Under the proposed definition, for a product to be labeled with the healthy claim, it would need to:

  • Contain a certain meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups recommended by the Dietary Guidelines.
  • Adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. The threshold for the limits is based on a percent of the Daily Value (DV) for the nutrient and varies depending on the food and food group.

   FDA Releases Draft Guidance on Use of Remote Regulatory Assessments


In addition to empowering consumers, adopting the updated definition may help foster a healthier food supply if some manufacturers reformulate (e.g., adding more vegetables or whole grains to meet criteria) or develop products that meet the updated definition.

To see the proposed rule, click here.


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