On The Works: New FDA Definition Of 'Healthy'

First Posted: Sep 29, 2016 03:07 AM EDT

A great improvement awaits consumers once they find out the new FDA definition of 'healthy'. There have been discussions for quite some time now, and the Food and Drug Administration is aiming to know what most people think of what the term 'healthy' should mean in food labels. Last Tuesday, it started the public process of redefinition.

In connection to this, the process started welcoming people's comments last Wednesday. According to NBC News, FDA stresses that the redefinition is part of the plan to provide tools and information to people. This aims to help them choose the right food quickly and easily, wherein public health recommendations play a big role.

ABC News reported that FDA based the current definition of 'healthy' on a 20-year-old research. Back then, low-fat diet, not low-sugar, was the concern. This makes avocado 'unhealthy' and sugary cereals 'healthy'. Apparently, the current definition relies on an outdated research and the changes in focus contribute a lot to the great need of redefining healthy food.

In a blog post, FDA's Douglas Balentine wrote that the 'healthy labeling' should stay up to date as people's understanding about nutrition evolves. At present, consumers are already looking for the type of fat in a certain food instead of the amount. Additionally, they look for sugar content and nutrients that they don't get in right amounts. Apparently, the expectations are changing; hence the need to have updated definitions as well.

FDA also asks for public input on queries regarding the expected meaning of 'healthy' coming from a nutrition perspective and how consumers respond to 'healthy' claims on food labels. It also plans to hold public fora to gather more information about what both consumers and stakeholders think.

Experts believe that the new FDA definition of 'healthy' will help encourage and promote the development of healthier foods. The process may take time, but what's important is the aim to come up with the right definition.

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