Policy ForumPUBLIC HEALTH

Toward Evidence-Based Health Claims for Foods

Science  10 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5604, pp. 206-207
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078638

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Summary

Some foods are claimed to provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. Such "functional" foods could make it easier to eat a healthy diet. Unfortunately, regulations often allow manufacturers to imply that a food promotes health without providing proper scientific evidence. At the same time, regulations may ban claims that a food prevents disease even when it does. The authors of this Policy Forum argue for regulations that will permit all health claims that are borne out by scientific evidence and will ban all claims that suggest an unproven benefit.

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