The Food and Drug Administration is now taking steps to change what the word "healthy" means. That's right, in the coming years, foods that were once deemed healthy may not live up to the new standards, while other products may now become an important part of diet regimens everywhere.
In the early 1990s, the FDA defined what the word "healthy" meant. But that meaning, it claims, likely doesn't hold up to today's ways of thinking.
"We believe now is an opportune time to re-evalute regulations concerning nutrient content claims, generally, including the term 'healthy,'" the FDA said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.
It will likely take a long time – possibly years, the Wall Street Journal noted – for the FDA to implement the change in definition, and even longer for it to become an established part of society. However, Kind Chief executive Daniel Lubetzky said in an interview with the Journal that the amendment is necessary.
"We very much hope the FDA will change the definition of healthy, so that you don't end up in a silly situation where a toaster pastry or sugary cereal can be considered healthy and a piece of salmon or bunch of almonds cannot," said Lubetzky.
Today, science has revealed a lot about food's contents and what nutrients are and aren't important. For example, Quality Assurance & Food Safety noted that the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the updated Nutrition Facts label mirror current "public health recommendations" and focuses.
While we're still a ways off from the meaning of the word "healthy" being officially changed, it's still critical that food manufacturers make the proper adjustments to their labeling well ahead of time.