Public health experts urge FDA to address misleading nutrition claims


Current regulation focuses on quantity of a nutrient versus overall quality of food and causes consumer confusion

KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND), with support from foremost health and nutrition experts, has filed a Citizen Petition urging the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to update the nutrient content claim regulation.

The current regulation looks at the quantity of a nutrient instead of the quality of the overall food, which enables food marketers to put these claims on unhealthy products. As a result, consumers are led to believe these items are part of a healthy diet and misled into purchasing them.

Nutrient content claims are misused on a variety of products, including sugary cereals and snacks and sodium-packed frozen dishes, which highlight beneficial nutrients but avoid calling out other less appealing aspects of the food.  

Registered Dietitians (RDs), who see firsthand the negative impact these claims can have on people, agree it is time to dust off a regulation that was implemented in the 1990s. 

According to a new survey: 

  • 75% of RDs say that the top reason nutrient content claims impact purchases is because their clients/patients believe the food bearing the claim is a healthy item;
  • 85% of RDs say that they often come across products with nutrient content claims that they would not recommend as part of a healthy diet.

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