The FDA is prioritizing its nutrition initiatives, and one goal is to help ensure that consumers in the U.S. have greater access to nutrition information they can use to make healthier food choices. Improving eating patterns can, in turn, improve everyone’s health and wellness.
At the Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on September 28, 2022, the White House released a National Strategy to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer consumers experience diet-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The strategy includes several FDA initiatives to help accelerate efforts to empower consumers with information and create a healthier food supply. The National Strategy directs the FDA to conduct research and propose a standardized front-of-package (FOP) system for food packages to help consumers, particularly those with lower nutrition literacy, quickly and easily identify foods that can help them build a healthy eating pattern.
Front-of-package labeling would complement the Nutrition Facts label that currently is required on food packages by displaying simplified, at-a-glance nutrition information and giving consumers additional context to help them quickly make more informed food selections. (The Nutrition Facts label is typically on the back or side of food packages). Use of FOP nutrition labeling schemes has increased dramatically around the world in recent years.
The FDA is now conducting consumer research to explore the development of a FOP nutrition labeling scheme before issuing a proposed rule for public comment. On January 26, 2023, the agency issued a 60-day procedural notice on its research plans and on June 15, 2023 issued a 30-day procedural notice.