Health-Tech

Danone North America Announces the FDA’s Decision on Their Petition for the First-Ever Qualified Health Claim for Yogurt, Linking This Dairy Aisle Staple to a Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Yogurt and Type 2 Diabetes

 In response to a petition submitted by food and beverage leader Danone North America, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the first-ever qualified health claim for yogurt, recognizing a potential link between its regular consumption and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and giving consumers another compelling reason to shop the yogurt aisle.

The new claim in its entirety states, “Eating yogurt regularly, at least 2 cups (3 servings) per week, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes according to limited scientific evidence.” This announcement is nearly five years in the making, during which time the FDA reviewed the existing research on yogurt and type 2 diabetes, which included data from over 300,000 individuals, and found including yogurt in the typical American diet could have a benefit to public health.

“We know that a growing body of research suggests regular yogurt consumption could reduce your risk of developing one of the most significant and rapidly rising health ailments in the United States,” said Miguel Freitas, Ph.D., Vice President of Health and Scientific Affairs at Danone North America. “That’s why we decided to submit a petition for this first-of-its-kind qualified health claim. Our hope is that this announcement will empower consumers with simple, actionable information they can use to help lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes through a realistic, easy-to-make dietary modification.”

Diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., impacting more than 37 million Americansi with 1.4 million new cases diagnosed every year.ii The overwhelming majority of these cases are type 2 diabetes,iii the risk for which can often be managed with lifestyle changes such as being more active and eating nutrient-rich foods.iv Based on this new qualified health claim, yogurt could be one of those foods.   

And the benefits of yogurt don’t stop there. In addition to potentially reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, yogurt is included as part of a healthy dietary pattern, and nutrients commonly found in yogurt, like calcium, vitamin D and protein are associated with bone and muscle health. Calcium and vitamin D are also identified in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as two nutrients critical for health but often under-consumed.v    

“Not only is yogurt a valuable source of important nutrients, it’s also incredibly versatile,” said Amanda Blechman, registered dietitian and Director of Health and Scientific Affairs at Danone North America. “That makes it easy to incorporate into your daily routine in a way that suits your unique needs and preferences. Yogurt is a staple in my family’s grocery cart, and we like to enjoy it with fruit, mix it into smoothies, dips, and dressings, and even use it as a cooking or baking ingredient.”

Danone North America has provided generations of Americans with a wide variety of yogurts since it was founded in 1942. Today, Danone is at the forefront of unlocking the health benefits of yogurt and is constantly innovating to meet the evolving needs of consumers, offering options such as Oikos Triple Zero, Light + Fit yogurt, and a variety of plain, unsweetened and unflavored options such as Oikos Anything But Plain and Dannon Plain. This newly announced qualified health claim supports Danone’s broader mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible and comes on the heels of a $22 million investment by the company to improve education on, access to, and availability of nutritious and health-promoting foods by 2030, announced at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in 2022.

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