US FDA updated definition of "Healthy" for packaged food products

The US Food and Drugs Administration has provided an updated definition of “Healthy” that is used to mark packaged products as healthy or not for consumption. The packaged food manufacturers will have to compile this definition if they want to label their products as healthy food products. These updated Nutrition Facts label guidelines and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans will have to be followed by every packaged food manufacturer. The Food and Drugs Administration is the legal body for regulating the food and drugs or pharmaceutical industries in the US. The agency is a federal agency that regulates food and drugs related products and services under the Department of Health and Human Services. Hence, any regulations proposed by the US FDA need to be followed by the manufacturer if they want to market their products in the US market. Hence, this updated label criteria is a measurable outcome for the packaged health food manufacturers that are practicing in the US. According to the FDA, around 80% of Americans do not eat any form of vegetables, fruits, or dairy products. Most people in the US consume heavy amounts of packaged food, fast food, and food that is generally high in sugar and unhealthy fats. This has created a serious health situation in the country, as the obesity rates in the US are among the highest. According to the survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition, around 42% of non-Hispanic white adults are suffering from obesity. For non-Hispanic black adults, this percentage is even higher, at around 49%. The major reason behind such higher obesity is the overconsumption of fast food and sugar-rich beverages and the lack of exercise. The fast-paced lifestyle is also causing an increase in people suffering from various non-communicable diseases. The US has one of the highest numbers of the population suffering from various cancers. The FDA stated that the updated labeling criteria are part of the agency’s commitment to assisting people to embrace healthy and nutritional eating habits and live healthy and disease-free life. FDA also stated that such steps are expected to help the prevalence of chronic diseases in the country, and thus reduce the growing disease burden on the country's healthcare sector. This is also estimated to bring healthy equity to the country due to the reduced health burden. FDA has announced these updates in rules in correlation to the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, where a national strategy to reduce the onset of lifestyle-based diseases by the end of 2030 was released. The proposed definition of healthy food demands that instead of quoting the benefits of each ingredient separately, the synergistic health outcome of all the ingredients should be considered and mentioned. The food items that come under the Dietary Guidelines will freely be able to be labeled as healthy food items. Some of these food items include seeds, higher fat fish (such as salmon), certain oils, and water. This is expected to improve the lifestyle of Americans to a greater extent in the coming generations.