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Are There Any Regulations Regarding a "Nutritious" Claim on Food Products?

March 16, 2016
Question 

Are there any regulations or guidelines regarding a "nutritious" claim on food products, either on package labels or in supportive advertising?  Does a product have to meet any nutritional hurdles to be considered nutritious?

Answer 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not directly addressed the term “nutritious” on food labels. However, regulatory restrictions do apply to the use of the term “healthy” and related terms in this context. These requirements can be found in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Section 101.65(d)(2). Certainly, other considerations should play a role with respect to the use of a term such as “nutritious,” particularly in today’s litigation environment. We suggest that you consult legal counsel to help determine your legal obligations and risks in the context of the specific products, labels, and advertising materials at issue.