The FDA also regulates the use of health- or disease-related claims on food labels. A health claim is a statement about the role of a specific nutrient in maintaining health or preventing disease. Since these statements are commonly used by consumers to help them select more healthful foods, only health claims approved by the FDA are allowed on food labels. Foods that carry a health-related claim are required to contain specified levels of nutrients believed to be adequate to bring about the health result described in the claim. (See “Health Claims” for a list of these claims.)
You be the judge
By regulating what and how information is presented on food labels, the FDA has made following a balanced, healthy diet a much more manageable feat. Although individual dietary needs also have to be taken into account, the information on food labels can serve as a valuable tool in helping to determine what to eat and how much of it to eat at a time. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, just remember — you can judge a food by its label.