Companies Can Claim Yogurt Reduces Diabetes Risk, FDA Says

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March 4, 2024 -- Yogurt manufacturers can now claim that eating yogurt reduces a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, the Food and Drug Administration said in a letter of enforcement discretion.  

The FDA posted the letter in response to a petition filed about five years ago by Danone North America, the company that produces Dannon, Activia, Wallaby Organic, and Silk yogurts. 

“After reviewing the petition and other evidence related to the proposed qualified health claim, the FDA determined that there is some credible evidence supporting a relationship between yogurt intake and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, but this evidence is limited,” the FDA said. 

 “As noted in the petition, the association was based on yogurt as a food, rather than any single nutrient or compound in yogurt, regardless of fat or sugar content.”

Danone said the FDA studied data on more than 300,000 individuals.

"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,” Miguel Freitas, vice president of Health and Scientific Affairs at Danone North America, said in a news release.

Danone had asked the FDA for clearance to make “a qualified health claim” about yogurt and diabetes risk. 

“A health claim characterizes the relationship between a substance and a disease or health-related condition,” the FDA said. “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.”

The wording of the claim is: "Eating yogurt regularly, at least 2 cups (3 servings) per week, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes according to limited scientific evidence," according to the news release from Danone.

Health researchers have long seen a connection between eating yogurt and a reduction in diabetes risk.