How many times have you picked up a product, read the nutrition label and decided that this better-for-you product is a not-for-me one? Maybe that high-fiber bar contains too many calories, added sugars or dark chocolate to mask the flavor of quinoa and other healthy-tasting ingredients.
Despite what many surveys report, many consumers don’t always read labels that closely. Rather, they often rely on more prominent packaging claims that may highlight the quantity of a single nutrient instead of the overall quality of the product. As a result, maybe it’s a good move by Kind Healthy Snacks to recently file a citizen petition to urge the Food and Drug Administration to update the nutrient content claim regulation. It certainly can’t hurt.
“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,” said Daniel Lubetzky, founder and chief executive officer of Kind. “By bringing greater rigor to the use of nutrient claims, F.D.A. can increase label transparency and help people better identify foods that contribute to a healthy diet.”
To support its petition, the company quoted a recent survey that said three-quarters of registered dietitians say that the top reason nutrient content claims impact purchases is because their patients believe the food bearing the claim is a healthy item. An even greater percentage of dietitians observed that they often come across products with nutrient content claims that they would not recommend as part of a healthy diet.
When it comes to labeling, be transparent. When it comes to people’s nutrition, stop playing around.