A Registered Dietitian’s Take on Health & Wellness Claims

Kara McConnell, a registered dietitian, currently holds the role of Northeast Regional Sales Manager at Fuchs. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Villanova University and a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Studies from NYU.

As a Registered Dietitian for over 20 years, I have noticed that many trends come and go, and with trends come health and wellness claims. Registered Dietitians believe that in order for these claims to be valid, they need to be backed by scientific evidence. In the food industry, most of the health and wellness claims that are receiving a lot of buzz are not proven, which causes confusion among consumers.

The rise in “free-from” labels is a much more recent phenomenon. It started with “fat-free,” and now there are so many others…sugar-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, gluten-free, GMO-free – the list goes on and on. In addition to confusion, unfounded trends can also create fear. The Organic trend, for example, has caused many people to be afraid to eat non-organic produce for the fear that they will become sick. This is directly jeopardizing the nutrition status of those that can’t afford organic produce, which is more problematic because they are not consuming any produce at all.

I like to think that I can have a positive influence on accurate and sound product messaging to consumers by going down a path that’s more science-based than sensationalized. I am always looking out for my customers and their brand as a valued extension of their team, helping them navigate through what’s fact and what’s fiction in terms of health and wellness claims.

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