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The FDA asks: Can ‘healthy’ be redefined?

by AirTalk®

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Snacks and drinks with higher nutritional value are displayed during a news conference on school food nutrition September 15, 2003 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is hearing public comment in Maryland on Thursday to discuss modernizing the term “healthy.”

Foods currently need to meet criteria for amounts of fat and certain beneficial nutrients like vitamin D or potassium, but it doesn’t account for ingredients like whole grains. The controversy over an updated “healthy” label on food products was sparked by a dispute with LLC, the company behind KIND bars. Some of the bars contained a high content of saturated fat, which did not meet the FDA’s criteria for healthy despite being made up of unprocessed foods such as nuts and dried fruit.

But is the term “healthy” misleading for consumers? Is the term simply a marketing ploy?


Lindsay Moyer, senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest; she is also a registered dietician

Adam Drewnowski, director, Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington School of Public Health

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