Tell the FDA What You Think It Should Take for Food to Earn a “Healthy” Label

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Faced with way too many options in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, it’s easy to latch onto one word on the label to help you make a decision. Maybe, for you, it’s healthy.

Too bad right now that label means very little. Currently, the "healthy" label means foods must have less than a certain threshold of fat, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol per serving, but those servings might be smaller than the amount you would actually eat. A serving of “healthy” food should also have at least 10 percent of the vitamin A, C, calcium, iron, protein, or fiber people need daily.

Those requirements leave a lot to be desired. They say nothing about sugar content, for one. Fortunately, last week the FDA said it wants to reevaluate what a “healthy” label means, and it wants to know what you think. 

The FDA has an open comment period ongoing while it revises its rules. So send them your thoughts by:

  •  Going to the webpage they’ve set up to receive comments. Click on the dark blue button on the right side of the screen that says “Comment Now!” 
  • Type your comments, attach files that back up your thoughts (like research papers), and select what category you’re commenting under (probably “Individual Consumer”). 
  • Click "Continue" at the bottom of the page to preview your comment, and then "Submit Comment" on the next page to send it off.

Keep in mind that comments will be publicly posted, and won’t be tallied like votes. Just writing what you think isn’t going to be enough — you’re more likely to have an influence if you support your arguments with evidence or experiences. If you want to have a say in what the next requirements for a “healthy” label are, now’s your chance. 

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