Statement of Task—Phase I
An ad hoc committee was to be convened to “review systems being used by manufacturers, supermarkets, health organizations, and governments in the United States and abroad and the overall merits of front-label nutrition icons, the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches, and the potential benefits of a single, standardized front-label food guidance system regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.”
The committee was charged with the following tasks:
A second phase is also planned and will build on this report and consider the following:
A well-balanced, high-quality diet consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is essential for the health of Americans, and front-of-package labeling is one tool among many geared toward helping Americans make healthful choices. Other such tools include MyPyramid, the Nutrition Facts panel, and health and nutrient content claims.
Front-of-package systems will focus on nutrients or food components that are most strongly associated with the diet-related health risks affecting the greatest number of Americans.
The information highlighted in front-of-package systems will be consistent with the Nutrition Facts panel.
Front-of-package systems will apply to as many foods as possible.
The committee’s deliberations were also informed by its findings about diet-related health concerns. The findings are:
Finding 1: Obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers are the health risks affecting the greatest number of Americans that are also most strongly associated with diet.
Finding 2: Americans consume too many calories, saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugars; too much sodium; and too little vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and fiber.