December 01st, 2015
a letter to our fans: KIND and nutrition policy—sparking a healthy discussion
By KIND Editor
At KIND, we like to say that “it’s the nuts that change the world.”
We also like to say that our company was built on the relationship that we have with our fans. We’re excited to share that today marks an important moment for our company and for the KIND community.
KIND, with support from some of the world’s foremost experts in nutrition, public health and public policy, has filed a Citizen Petition respectfully urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update its regulations around the term healthy when used as a nutrient content claim in food labeling. We hope that by asking the FDA to align food labeling regulations with current nutrition science and federal dietary guidelines, we can help people better identify the types of foods recommended as part of a healthy diet.
So what does this mean?
Currently, the FDA’s standard prevents foods that are generally considered to be good for you – like almonds, avocados and salmon – from using the term healthy as a nutrient content claim because of the foods’ inherent dietary fat content.
However, there is strong evidence pointing to the nutritional benefits of consuming foods high in unsaturated fat, including nuts. Current nutrition guidance also emphasizes the importance of eating certain types of foods rather than focusing solely on nutrients like dietary fat.
These regulations, which were introduced more than 20 years ago with the best intentions, has led to undesirable outcomes. Under current regulations, foods such as some fat-free puddings and sugary cereals have the ability to be labeled as healthy. The chart below provides a few examples of what foods do and do not meet qualifications for healthy labeling under this regulation.
Under the current regulations*, foods like almonds, avocados and salmon cannot be labeled with a “healthy” nutrient content claim because they exceed total and saturated dietary fat limits per serving. However, under the requirements some foods like certain sugary cereals, fat-free chocolate pudding and low-fat toaster pastries can be labeled as “healthy.”
How did KIND become involved in food policy?
As you may know, this past April we found ourselves at the center of a national media debate following a letter from the FDA requesting adjustments to the labeling for four of our bars. The debate, which focused on the regulatory use of the word healthy as a nutrient content claim and how it relates to the fat found in nuts, shows there is still a significant amount of confusion about nutrition.
Since then, we’ve spent time deepening our understanding of nutrition and food policy, increasing our engagement with many of the world’s leading health and wellness experts, and sharing what we have learned with our fans on our social media channels. Based on our learnings and the response we received from the nutrition community and our fans, we decided that action needed to be taken. In requesting updated regulations, our goal is to ensure that the American public receives sound and consistent guidance about nutrition.
There is nothing more important to KIND than the relationship and honest dialogue that we have with our community. We welcome you to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Thank you so much for your continued support and in helping us make the world a little kinder, one snack and one act at a time.
Your KIND Team