The Food and Drug Administration will research and offer a standardized front-of-package labeling system to help consumers better understand nutritional information, the White House announced Tuesday.
The proposed update to the existing setup, in which nutrition information is provided primarily on the back of labels, is part of the Biden administration’s effort to help consumers make healthy choices and “to shift our health care system from the simple treatment of the disease to its prevention. “, a senior administration official told reporters on a call.
Labeling on the front of the packaging — which could take the form of stars or images of traffic lights — would aim “to help consumers, especially those with low nutritional literacy, quickly and easily identify foods that are part of a healthy diet,” the White House said in a 44-page strategic report.
The administration also said it would propose an update to the nutrition criteria for the “health” claim on food packaging.
Administration officials are preparing to host the White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health on Wednesday — the first of its kind since a Nixon-era conference on the subject more than 50 years ago.
Biden set a goal in May to end hunger and boost healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 to reduce the number of Americans suffering from diet-related illnesses, such as heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Several congressional Democrats have been particularly focused on food labeling. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey called for greater transparency in food packaging labels in a letter to Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice last month. The Aug. 31 letter cited legislation proposed by five Senate Democrats last year that would require front-of-package labels that include warnings about salt, sugar and saturated fat content and establish requirements for food retailers. online to provide nutritional information on food packaging.
The Biden administration is also taking steps to improve food access and affordability, senior administration officials told reporters.
When the new fiscal year begins on Saturday, the federal nutrition assistance program known as SNAP will provide additional benefits of about $26 per person per month on average, according to the Department of Agriculture. The overall increase was announced in early August.
According to a summary of administration plans, the White House also aims to expand access to healthy, free school lunches for 9 million more children by 2032, expand SNAP eligibility, and expand summer benefits to more children.