The general principles of clarity, accuracy and scientific substantiation, as laid down in legislation, underpin the harmonised use of nutrition and health claims and enables consumers to make informed and meaningful food choices.

Provided criteria are met, manufacturers can highlight to consumers, via labels or advertising, the particular beneficial effects of their products, in relation to health and nutrition. A health claim refers to a relationship between a food or ingredient (e.g. ‘Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and health’) and a nutrition claim refers to a nutritional benefit of a food (e.g. ‘high fibre’ or ‘low fat’).

In terms of the development and enforcement of nutrition and health claims policy, inflexible conditions for making and communicating claims, risks limiting product innovation. R&D investment may be halted if manufacturers cannot communicate the benefits of a new product to consumers.

Further information

DHSC UK guidance on nutrition and health claims

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is responsible for nutrition legislation policy in England, including nutrition labelling & nutrition and health claims.

DHSC guidance to compliance on nutrition and health claims made on foods

DHSC nutrition legislation information sheet

Being a devolved responsibility, nutrition legislation policy lies with the Welsh Government in Wales, Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Northern Ireland, and Food Standards Scotland  in Scotland.

Further information for members: FDF nutrition and health claims toolkit


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Guidance on comparative nutrition claims

This FDF guidance provides detailed best practice regulatory advice on the requirements and appropriate wording for comparative nutrition claims to be used in the labelling and advertising of food and drink products.

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