Yogurt was able to put another feather in its cap earlier this month when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new qualified health claim for the popular dairy product. This first-ever health claim for yogurt acknowledges the possible link between regular consumption of yogurt and a lowered Type 2 diabetes risk.

Two versions of the new claim were permitted by FDA:

  • Eating yogurt regularly (at least three servings per week) may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to limited scientific evidence.
  • Eating yogurt regularly may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded there is limited information supporting this claim.

According to FDA, a health claim characterizes the relationship between a substance and a disease or health-related condition. A qualified health claim is supported by scientific evidence but does not meet the more rigorous “significant scientific agreement” standard required for an authorized health claim.

Danone North America submitted the petition to FDA, but all yogurt makers can utilize the claim on their products. The process took nearly five years to complete as FDA reviewed research about yogurt and Type 2 diabetes from more than 300,000 individuals. More than 37 million Americans are affected by diabetes, and it ranks among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The decision by FDA was applauded by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). “We now know that eating yogurt regularly is not only an excellent source of essential nutrients, it also can have a significant benefit to public health, including reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes,” said Roberta Wagner, IDFA’s senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

“This decision by FDA should be closely considered by members of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, alongside the growing body of science demonstrating the health benefits of consuming dairy products at all fat levels, which shows these products are not associated with higher risk of negative health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Altogether, dairy products continue to demonstrate they are central to healthy, balanced diets for all people of all ages,” she continued.

Yogurt packs protein, calcium, and other nutrients into each serving. This indication that yogurt could be linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes gives consumers another reason to enjoy this versatile dairy product.

To comment, email your remarks to intel@hoards.com.
(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2024
March 14, 2024
Subscribe to Hoard's Dairyman Intel by clicking the button below