Kind calls for FDA to revamp definition of 'healthy' foods
- Kind, in conjunction with nutrition and public health experts, has submitted a formal petition to the FDA "to update its regulations around the term healthy when used as a nutrient content claim in food labeling," in conjunction with current science, according to a news release.
- Kind has been motivated in part because of the FDA's exclusion of nuts and other foods, such as avocados and salmon, from being considered healthy because of the level of fats they contain. Health and nutrition experts find these fats to be healthy and encourage consumers to eat more of them.
- At the same time, products like fat-free puddings and sugary cereals are able to bear the healthy label.
Kind's petition closely follows the introduction of the Food Labeling Modernization Act in Congress, which would update labeling regulations that haven't been changed since 1990 or as long ago as 1932. One of several updates would include defining the terms "healthy" and "natural."
Kind's motivation also may stem from earlier this year when the FDA requested that Kind stop using the term "healthy" on the labels of its snack bars. If the FDA changes the definition of "healthy" to include certain types of fats, Kind could benefit by being able to use the word "healthy" on its labels once again.
What's notable about the current definition of "healthy" is that sugary foods like cereals and puddings can be included, particularly as the FDA recently recommended a cap on daily sugar intake (no more than 10% of daily calories). Organizations like the Action for Healthy Food have backed this recommendation.
Coca-Cola and other soda companies have responded to consumers limiting their sugar intake by making mini-cans and mini-bottles of soda, which one Coca-Cola executive said could "reinvent" a soda industry that has seen sales declines for the past decade.