Redefining Healthy: FDA to adjust their definition of "healthy"

Redefining Healthy: FDA to adjust their definition of "healthy"

Which is healthier: Pop-Tarts...

...or almonds?

Based on the definition of "healthy," the correct answer is pop-tarts!!!

The FDA is currently changing the modern definition of healthy. The first official definition was created over 22 years ago! In 1994, the definition of healthy highlighted low-fat foods. Under this definition, Kellogg’s low-fat Pop-Tarts could be considered “healthy!” They meet all five criteria of “healthy foods” created by the FDA: Fat, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and beneficial nutrients, like calcium of vitamin C. Almonds, however, do not meet these criteria, so they cannot be considered “healthy!”

Connie Diekman, registered dietitian and nutrition director for Washington University in St. Louis states, “Scientific evidence now clearly points to the type of fat, not just the amount of fat, that we consume.” It is for this reason that the FDA is making an effort to adjust their definition of “healthy” to the shifting discoveries individuals are making about nutrition.

Annie Gasparro of The Wall Street Journal states that Congress is also pushing the FDA to make this issue a priority: “In a House of Representatives’ report explaining its agriculture appropriations bill, the committee urges the FDA to update the regulations. The bill passed and awaits a vote on the House floor.”

The process of changing the definition of healthy will likely take several years. Gasparro writes, “If the FDA changes its definition of healthy for everyone else, it likely will first propose updating the “healthy” definition, followed by a comment period in which food makers and the public can submit their ideas and research on what “healthy” means. Then comes the FDA’s proposed rule change, another comment period, the final rule, and an implementation period, to give food makers time to comply.”

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