The terms “healthy” and “natural” help to sell food products. They are about marketing, not health.
This makes life difficult for the FDA, which has the unenviable job of defining what the terms mean on food labels.
In a victory for the maker of KIND bars, the FDA has just said that the bars can be advertised as healthy—and that the agency will be revisiting its long-standing definition of the term. This is what that definition says now:
You may use the term “healthy” or related terms as an implied nutrient content claim on the label or in labeling of a food that is useful in creating a diet that is consistent with dietary recommendations if the food meets the conditions for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and other nutrients…In addition, the food must comply with definitions and declaration requirements for any specific NCCs [Nutrient Content Claims].
The chronology :
March 2015: FDA issues a warning letter to KIND stating that product labels make nutrient content claims without meeting the requirements for making such claims.
December 1, 2015: KIND files citizen petition asking FDA to permit use of “healthy” because nuts, even though higher in fat than FDA permits, are healthy.
April 20, 2016: FDA says KIND products now mee…