The White House is working to uncover fraudulent food labels to help consumers make better choices

WASHINGTON (KABC) — Grocery store aisles are filled with products labeled “healthy” on the packaging, but the labels on the outside don’t always tell the truth about what’s inside.

“Of course, that can be very, very deceptive,” said Remy Peters, a registered dietitian at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.

To make it easier for consumers to know what they’re getting, President Joe Biden revealed his national strategy End hunger and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030.

“Help more Americans have access to the food that feeds and keeps their families healthy. Give people the power and information they need to make healthy food choices,” Biden said.

A key part of the plan is updating the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of what a “healthy” food means.

For the first time, salmon and certain nuts can make that claim on packaging, despite their higher fat content.

“Well, these can actually boast, which is true, that they are healthy types of fat. Salmon, with its omega-3 fatty acids, can suppress inflammation,” Peters said.

She said an FDA proposal to place nutritional labels on the front of packages instead of the back would help consumers make better choices.

“I think it’s important to have them up front so that people can just pick something up and immediately read it and decide whether or not I want to put that in my body,” Peters said.

In order for a product to be labeled as healthy, it must meet certain criteria. For example, a serving of granola would need to contain ounces of whole grains and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, and 2 1/2 added sugars.

“‘Healthy’ should have a claim that’s actually supported by research and science,” said Peters.

Health officials say diet-related chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability.

Much of this depends on the daily choices we all make about food.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. The White House is working to uncover fraudulent food labels to help consumers make better choices

Laura Coffey

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