Sarah Davis: Hi, I am Sarah Davis with the Institute of Food Technologists and today we are talking about how to read Food Labels. Right now, I am going to talk about Health Claims which are statements that can be made on food labels by manufactures to show that the food product or a component of the food product or a dietary supplement ingredient is linked to reducing the risk of a disease or health related condition.
Now Health Claims can only be about reducing that risk. They can't be about curing, mitigating, treating disease or anything of that nature. So due to the nature of the Health Claims and the complexity of Health Claims, they are closely monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. A lot of evidence needs to be presented to the Food and Drug Administration in order to show without a doubt, that there is a link between a food or food component and the claim that's being made to reduce a certain disease. Right now there are 12 Health Claims that are allowed by the Food and Drug Administration. And these range on a variety of things such as high calcium can prevent Osteoporosis. Low sodium may prevent High Blood Pressure or that the use of sugar alcohols does not lead to dental caries or cavities. An example of a Health Claim is on this product, which is a Whole Grain Peta. On the front it tells me it's a Cholesterol Free Food and to see the back for more nutrition information. When I go to the back the Health Claim is that in a low fat diet, Whole Grain food such as the bread may reduce the risk of heart disease. Health Claims and Nutrient Content Claims were created by the Food and Drug Administration to be a bridge between the nutrition facts and consumer messaging to make it easier for consumers to understand some of the role of the different components in the food products. However, there is some debate about whether these claims are easy to understand, but now that we have gone over Health Claims you know that they are out there and you know how to look for them on food products. They will either be on the front of a product or on the back primarily. So Health Claims can be useful information to help you know what's in the food and the role of that food in your total diet. So that's all about Health Claims and next we are going to talk about reading food labels and symbols that are used on food packages, that are placed there by food companies, health organizations or grocery store chains.