Friday, July 23, 2010

A fine line: nutrient content claims and health claims

Kellogg can no longer use this marketing strategy (see Time Magazine in June). 

In federal government lingo, the image above is a "health claim" or "function claim" with insufficient evidence.

But the company will still use this strategy (see Marion Nestle and Food Navigator this week). 

In federal government lingo, this is a "nutrient content claim." For official purposes, everybody agrees to pretend that the word "antioxidants!" has no more health implications or evidence requirements than does the word "crunchy!" The only legal issue is whether the manufacturer actually has added in the claimed antioxidants.

If you are convinced that this distinction between health claims and content claims succeeds in protecting consumers from misleading marketing, you will be reassured that somebody out there is watching that line like a tennis referee.  Everybody else may want to continue to be skeptical of health-related packaged food marketing claims across the board.

2 comments:

Hemi Weingarten (Fooducate) said...

Hi Parke,

The entire package is one big health claim:

Fiber. check
Antioxidant. check
Berry. 2 kinds. double check.
Yogurt. check

Who needs anything else?
Shame on Kellogg’s for creating this 82 ingredient cereal monstrosity.

http://www.fooducate.com/blog/2010/07/19/omg-why-are-there-over-70-ingredients-in-kelloggs-fiber-plus-antioxidants-cereal/

victoria said...
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