Dreamstime

How do you define 'healthy'? Read between the lines first

December 12, 2018 - 3:30 am
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By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — What do bottled water and chewing gum have in common? 

In 2015, the FDA told the manufacturers of Kind bars that the label, which said the bars were "healthy," was misleading, because it had a higher fat content than allowed under the federal labeling regulations. 

But Kind pushed back, saying that the fat came from nuts, which, since the time the regulations were created in 1994, is now understood to be healthy fat. 

So, in this new era when increased scientific knowledge on nutrition has led to a decreased clarity by the public of what is actually healthy — low fat versus high carb; low carb versus high protein — the FDA is now revamping its rules on when a product can be labeled healthy.

While the FDA debates the definition, it will not enforce the old rules and will let products label themselves healthy if the product meets alternative criteria for what is healthy, like if it contains potassium or vitamin D. 

While the FDA is getting public comment on a definition, ask yourself: Is this pizza bagel really going to make me healthy just because it's a mini meal that contains potassium and its label says it is?