When purchasing wellness products, you may notice a lot of information on the label including specific health claims, nutrition facts, ingredients, and warnings. It can be overwhelming at times, especially when you don’t always know which claims are trustworthy or what certain terms mean. If you’re confused about the information on a wellness product label, read on to learn more about labeling requirements, health claims, and what all of it means for you.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the labeling requirements for wellness products and enforces compliance with guidelines for health claims. Health Canada oversees the regulation of natural health products, whether they’re sold online or in your local Canada pharmacy.
The required information must be included on every label regardless of packaging or container type. New advances in packaging technology, such as the shrink sleeve applicator, have made it easier for small businesses to comply with labeling guidelines while also utilizing eco-friendly materials that reduce waste.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) requires that the label of a wellness product bear a statement of the identity of the product, the net quantity of contents, and the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. In addition, it requires that a wellness product bears a nutrition label if it is intended for use as a supplement to the diet.
“Wellness” is a broad term that can refer to a wide range of products, but the FDA defines a “general wellness product” as one that has “(1) an intended use that relates to maintaining or encouraging a general state of health or a healthy activity, or (2) an intended use that relates the role of healthy lifestyle with helping to reduce the risk or impact of certain chronic diseases or conditions and where it is well understood and accepted that healthy lifestyle choices may play an important role in health outcomes for the disease or condition.”
By this definition, a general wellness product can still be many things, including fitness trackers, yoga pants, and exercise apps. When it comes to dietary supplements and foods that promote wellness, the labeling requirements are more stringent.
What are the rules for health claims?
Health Claims are a specific type of labeling that is used to describe the benefits of using a product. These claims must be truthful and not misleading, and they must be supported by scientific evidence. Manufacturers who want to make health claims for their products must provide detailed information about the product to the FDA, including the ingredients and how the product works. The FDA will then review this information to determine if the claim is valid. If it is, the FDA will approve the claim and allow the manufacturer to use it on their products.
According to the FDA, health claims “must contain the elements of a substance and a disease or health-related condition; are limited to claims about disease risk reduction; cannot be claims about the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, or treatment of disease; and are required to be reviewed and evaluated by FDA prior to use.”
The Nutrition Facts label is a valuable source of information for consumers looking to make healthy choices. It provides all the nutrients in a product, as well as their amounts. This information can help you compare products and choose the one that best meets your needs.
For example, if you are looking for a low-calorie snack, you can compare the calorie counts of different products to find the one with the fewest calories. The label also tells you the amount of fat, carbohydrates, sugar, and protein a product contains. This information can help you choose a product that fits into your diet.
If you have any special dietary needs, such as a food allergy or intolerance, you can check the side panel to find out if the product contains that ingredient. The FDA requires manufacturers to declare the presence of the eight most common allergens in dietary supplements and food products, including peanuts, wheat, and soy.