Harvard Heart Letter

How qualified are health claims for food?

Health claims' efforts to balance free speech with solid evidence could leave you confused.

In 2003, food makers got the green light to slap "heart healthy" labels on a variety of nuts and foods made with them. Now they can do the same for foods and supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Neither of these claims should come as a surprise. We've known about the cardiovascular benefits of eating nuts and fish (a prime source of omega-3 fats) for some time. What's worrisome are a host of other health claims waiting in the wings for FDA approval.

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