retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Fortune reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "has begun the process of redefining what 'healthy' stands for on food labels ... saying that an "updated definition will 'encourage companies to make a greater variety of healthy products available to consumers through both innovation and reformulation'."

According to the story, "Healthy diets are now more focused on the type of fat rather than the total amount of fat. But old standards have meant that foods like fat-free chocolate pudding can be labeled as healthy, while avocados and salmon cannot. Nutritionists are also more concern about added sugars than in the past—something the current definition of healthy does not reflect."

The story notes that "the FDA’s examination of 'healthy' is just the latest move from the agency as it works to keep up with consumers’ shifting eating habits and desire for transparency. The FDA is also considering giving 'natural' a legal definition; it received received more than 7,600 comments on the term and is currently in the process of analyzing them."
KC's View:
The story also notes that this is likely to be a lengthy process; similar reconsiderations have taken up to six years to complete.

I also have to wonder the degree to which politics could play a role - specifically who wins the White House in November. One of the contestants says he maintains superb physical condition by eating fast food, like McDonald's, suggesting that he likes the big chains because you always know what's in the food because they all use the same formulas. (The people who got sick at Chipotle might disagree with this notion.)