BOX 1-1
Statements of Task for Phase I and II

The committee was charged with the following tasks:

Phase I

•   Identify front-of-package systems being used by manufacturers, supermarkets, health organizations, and governments in the United States and abroad;

•   Consider the purpose and overall merits of front-label nutrition icons;

•   Identify the criteria underlying the systems and evaluate their scientific basis;

•   Consider advantages and disadvantages of various approaches for adults and children; and

•   Using knowledge gained from its compilation and assessment of front-of-package systems, plan the second phase (to be executed as a separate activity) that would consider the potential benefits of a single, standardized front-of-package food guidance system regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and would develop conclusions about which system(s) are most effective in promoting health and how to maximize the use and effectiveness of the system(s).

Phase II

•   Consider the potential benefits of a single, standardized front-label food guidance system regulated by the Food and Drug Administration,

•   Assess which icons are most effective with consumer audiences, and

•   Develop conclusions about the systems/icons that best promote health and how to maximize their use.

rating systems and symbols.2 In FY 2010, Congress directed CDC to continue the study,3 for which FDA and later the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion provided support.

An ad hoc committee was convened to review systems being used in the United States and abroad and to determine advantages and disadvantages of various approaches as well as the potential benefits of a single, standardized, front-label food guidance system regulated by FDA. The study was conducted in two phases. Phase I focused primarily on the nutrition criteria underlying FOP systems. Phase II, the subject of this report, built on the results of Phase I while focusing on the aspects of consumer understanding and behavior related to the development of a standardized FOP system. Box 1-1 shows the statement of task for both Phases I and II.

The Phase I and II committees reviewed information on packages as well as on shelf tags, and the use of the term FOP symbol systems throughout this report encompasses both methods of conveying information. In addition, for the purposes of this report, the broad statement “making healthier choices” refers to consumers’ meeting guidelines of qualifying criteria for saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars. The committee’s adopted definitions for common terms used throughout the report are provided in Appendix A. This chapter will review the main findings and conclusions from the Phase I report and describe the study goals and process for this report.


2Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009. Division F—Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009 on Public Law No. 111-8, House Appropriations Committee Print, p. 1398.

3Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010. Division D—Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies. Appropriations Act, 2010 on Public Law 111-17. House Conference Report 111-366, p. 1021.

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