The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States proposed this Wednesday new criteria for a food to be labeled “healthy” to improve Americans’ diet and fight chronic disease.
In a statement, the FDA explained that more than 80% of Americans do not eat enough vegetables, fruits or dairy products, while most people eat “a lot of added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.”
For this reason, it has advised that for a product to be labeled “as healthy” it must contain a “significant” amount of food from one of the groups designated in its dietary recommendations, such as fruit, vegetables or dairy products.
Likewise, must comply with certain “specific limits” of certain substancessuch as saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
The FDA’s announcement coincides with a conference held Wednesday by the White House on nutrition and to combat hunger in the United States.
According to current FDA recommendations, About 5% of packaged produce in the US is labeled “healthy.”
In 2016 the regulator launched a public process to update the labeling for “healthy” food, though it was criticized for taking the wrong approach in its guidelines.
After the publication this Wednesday of its recommendations, the FDA has to develop a labeling system in accordance with its advice, issue a series of voluntary recommendations to urge that the sodium content be lowered and hold public meetings to see how to reduce the use of added sugars.
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