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EU claims - Meal replacements and body weight

(October 2015)
 
FSANZ is considering 32 health claims  authorised in the European Union (EU) for possible inclusion as food-health relationships in Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims.
 
The EU has authorised the following two health claims about weight control:
  • Meal replacement for weight control: Substituting one daily meal of an energy restricted diet with a meal replacement contributes to the maintenance of weight after weight loss.
  • Meal replacement for weight control: Substituting two daily meals of an energy restricted diet with meal replacements contributes to weight loss.

Decision

FSANZ has decided to maintain the existing general level health claims about energy and weight loss in Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims, and not include the EU-authorised health claims.

Decision rationale

Standard 1.2.7 currently permits general level health claims about energy and weight loss or weight maintenance (see Schedule 3 – Conditions for permitted general level health claims).

After comparing the EU health claims with the weight loss and weight maintenance claims currently permitted by the Standard, FSANZ decided that the two EU health claims are very similar to those already included in the Standard.
 
The already permitted claims must refer to energy as the property of food and can be made on the label of (or advertising for) Formulated Meal Replacements (FMR) as standardised by Division 2 of Standard 2.9.3, if the FMR contains no more than 1200 kJ per serving, and on foods that meet the conditions for a ‘diet’1  claim. The main difference between these permitted claims and the two EU health claims, is that the EU permits a direct link between substituting one or more daily meals for a meal replacement with weight maintenance or weight loss.
 
During development of the Standard, FSANZ considered permitting a direct link between the claim of weight loss or weight maintenance and the food carrying the claim. In response to stakeholder concerns that consumers may be misled by weight loss claims because no one food has intrinsic weight reducing properties, FSANZ decided not to permit such claims. FSANZ maintains this position.

 
the food meets the nutrient profiling scoring criterion (NPSC), unless the food is a food standardised by Part 2.9 of the Code; and
  1. the average energy content of the food is no more than 80 kJ per 100 mL for liquid food or 170 kJ per 100 g for solid food; or
  2. the food contains at least 40% less energy than in the same quantity of reference food.
 

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