KIND and Public Health Experts File Petition Urging FDA to Address Misleading Nutrient Content Claims
 

Current regulation focuses on quantity of a nutrient versus overall quality of food and causes consumer confusion
 

Today KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND), with support from foremost health and nutrition experts, filed a Citizen Petition urging the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to update the nutrient content claim regulation. The current regulation looks at the quantity of a nutrient instead of the quality of the overall food, which enables food marketers to put these claims on unhealthy products. As a result, consumers are led to believe these items are part of a healthy diet and misled into purchasing them.

Nutrient content claims are misused on a variety of products, including sugary cereals and snacks and sodium-packed frozen dishes, which highlight beneficial nutrients but avoid calling out other less appealing aspects of the food.   

“Dressing up empty calorie products by emphasizing a singular nutrient, like protein or fiber, versus the overall quality of the food is unfair to consumers,” says KIND Founder & CEO Daniel Lubetzky. “By bringing greater rigor to the use of nutrient claims, FDA can increase label transparency and help people better identify foods that contribute to a healthy diet, which KIND has long advocated for.”     

Registered Dietitians (RDs), who see firsthand the negative impact these claims can have on people, agree it is time to dust off a regulation that was implemented in the 1990s. According to a new survey[1]

A survey[2] fielded by Washington DC-based Morning Consult reinforces the role these claims play in consumers’ lives. Specifically, more than 2/3 (68%) of consumers say that nutrient content claims are important when deciding which products to purchase. While the claims are influential, consumers agree they are not as clear as they could be, with a majority (56%) saying FDA should update its regulation to make nutrient content claims less misleading.

This issue has been recognized by leading public health experts, including the following individuals who have co-signed the petition: 

In the petition, KIND asks FDA to only allow nutrient content claims on items that contain a meaningful amount of a health-promoting food (such as vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts). Nearly half (45%) of RDs surveyed agree with this request, saying that to make a nutrient content claim a food should contain a significant quantity of foods recommended for healthy eating. The petition also requests adjustments to current disclosures as well as the addition of a disqualification threshold that would ban unhealthful products from making such claims.

Dr. Katz, a co-signatory, says, “I’m pleased to support the petition. Amending the nutrient content claim regulation to ensure that the majority of a product is made from a genuinely nutritious food source will have a lasting impact on public health.”   

Sara Baer-Sinnott, the President of Oldways and another co-signatory, adds, “Oldways is pleased to join as a signatory on the petition. By highlighting wholesome plant foods, this petition provides a sensible path to advance public health by empowering consumers with clear nutrition information.”

To view the petition, visit here. To learn more about KIND, visit https://www.kindsnacks.com/.

About KIND 

Since 2004, KIND has been on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and act at a time. KIND was born out of its founder's desire to create a snack that was healthy and tasty, wholesome and convenient. What began as a line of premium Fruit & Nut bars sparked the creation of a new healthier snacking category. Today, KIND has a family of more than 70 snacks that offer solutions for a variety of occasions.

Its recipes use nutrient-dense, premium ingredients like nuts, seeds, whole grains and fruit, which are recommended for a healthy diet. All snacks are gluten free, do not contain genetically engineered ingredients and are not sweetened with sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.

Kindness has always been at the core of its business. KIND was founded with a social mission, the KIND Movement, which celebrates and inspires kindness. Today, the Movement is brought to life through the brand and The KIND Foundation. To learn more about KIND, KIND Bars and to join our Movement, visit kindsnacks.com.

 

[1] This poll was conducted from February 18-March 4 among a national sample of 595 Registered Dietitians. All respondents are part of KIND’s Nutrition Collective; however, none are employed by KIND and the views expressed are their own. 

[2] This poll was funded by KIND and conducted from February 19-21, 2019, among a national sample of 2202 adults.