Who Defines What is Healthy?

• possessing or enjoying good health, or a sound and vigorous mentality
• pertaining to or a characteristic of good health, or a sound and vigorous mind
• conducive to good health
• prosperous or sound
Healthy, as defined above, can refer to many behaviors that contribute to good health: food, rest, intellectual engagement.

We all have our own measures of what is considered healthy for our bodies and minds.

When we make healthy decisions about our food choices, these are often based on how “healthy” is communicated to us through the media, fueled by the food industry and overseen by governmental agencies.
“… the food industry knows people will buy food products based on the way they're marketed and promoted, not on the nutritional value."  - Dr. Aseem Malhotra, London cardiologist and advisor to the U.K. National Obesity Forum
Healthy. Natural. Organic. 

These terms are not interchangeable, and have different meanings among growers, producers, manufacturers, marketers, government, and consumers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, will begin working to amend its current “healthy” nutrient regulations in relation to the current 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA.

The disconnect begins with deciding what our bodies need for basic functions and maintenance. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines have shifted from labeling foods as good or bad without factoring nutrient content to focusing on healthy eating patterns. The guidelines never intended to tell consumers not to eat something.

Current FDA-approved “healthy” foods cannot contain more than 3 grams of total fat per serving. This would rule out the extra health benefits of foods like almonds and salmon because of their high fat content. The FDA “healthy” rating also does not currently incorporate sugar content, so sugary cereals fortified with vitamins and minerals would still be considered healthy.
Public dietary health concerns are now focusing on lower sugar, low-fat and low-calorie products, as well as adjusting for increasing number of individuals with food sensitivities due other health disorders.
Gluten sensitivity is one indicator of Celiac disease.
Thanks to the growing amount of nutrition research, we are changing our perceptions of health and eating habits. “Healthy” and “natural” often differ by food category, as well as our individual nutrient requirements

According to the Wall Street Journal, the FDA will begin the process of updating the definitions of healthy and natural in an effort to keep up with current nutritional research and public perceptions. This process generally takes several years and includes a proposal, a comment period from the food industry and the public, input and research, the actual proposed rule change, a second comment period, a final ruling, and an implementation period for food makers to comply. As an example of this process, the gluten-free designation took more than six years to complete.

While we wait for the FDA to update its definitions with the current research, the experts at the Metabolic Medical Centers can help you determine the healthy options for your individual needs.

No comments:

Post a Comment