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Yogurt Makers Can Make Limited Claims About Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: FDA
  • Posted March 4, 2024

Yogurt Makers Can Make Limited Claims About Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: FDA

Yogurt makers can now make limited claims about the food's power to help prevent type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

In a statement released Friday, the agency said it will not object to "qualified health claims" that say there is some evidence that eating at least 2 cups of yogurt a week may lower the chances of developing the blood sugar disease.

The FDA has allowed "qualified health claims" for dietary supplements since 2000 and for foods since 2002, the Associated Press reported.

According to the agency, a qualified health claim is supported by scientific evidence but it doesn't meet the more rigorous "significant scientific agreement"standard required for an authorized health claim.

Some of the qualified health claims that the FDA has allowed in the past include that consuming some types of cocoa may reduce heart disease and cranberry juice might reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in women.

In the case of yogurt, the saga began in 2018 when Danone North America, whose yogurt brands include Dannon, Activa and Horizon Organics, petitioned the FDA for approval to make the health claim.

In its petition, the company pointed to studies that observed participants over time and found a link between eating yogurt and lower markers of diabetes. The FDA agreed there "is some credible evidence"of benefit from eating yogurt as a whole food, but not because of any particular nutrient in the product.

Still, critics said the label change is not based on gold-standard randomized controlled trials.

Food policy expert Marion Nestle told the Associated Press that qualified health claims are "ridiculous on their face."

"Translation: If you want to believe this, go ahead, but it's not on the basis of evidence,"she added.

More information

Visit the Harvard School of Public Health for more on the health benefits of yogurt.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, March 1, 2024; Associated Press

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