Understanding Health Claims

Understanding Health Benefits

A health claim on a product describes a relationship between the food and health. It means that health benefits may occur when consuming the food or the nutrients within that specific food. For example, consumption of the food may contribute to boosting the body’s defence system or improve bone density. Types of health claims include ‘functional health claims’, ‘risk reduction health claims’ and ‘claims referring to children’s development’.

Nutrition claims refer to claims about the food such as ‘low in fat’, ‘high in fibre’ and ‘no added sugar’ among others. These claims relate to properties of the food that may benefit the consumer.

Nutrient profiles are regulations put in place by the Regulation on Nutrition & Health Claims on Foods. These are when the nutrients in food must meet the standards in order to make a claim on a product. Due to this consumers are protected from misleading claims regarding their health on pack or otherwise.

There are a number of health claims approved by European Food Standards Agency (EFSA). Companies can also submit claims to EFSA for consideration but must only display approved health claims on products or other marketing materials. For example, the Good4U Energise Super Shot contains magnesium which boosts energy naturally. One of the EFSA approved claims for magnesium is: ‘magnesium contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue’. This claim can be used if a food is at least a source of magnesium.

Be label aware and know what’s in your food. Happy eating!