There are many food labeling programs and health claims/icons on products in the grocery store. The Heart-Check mark has been guiding shoppers to healthier choices since 1995. Here are some of the hallmarks of a credible front-of-package food labeling program:
- The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest, largest voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
- Consumer research shows that “the AHA is the authority most trusted by consumers to decide if a product may display a nutrition message or mark.”
- Our mission drives everything we do: Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
- Heart-Check program criteria are based on American Heart Association scientific statements and recommendations.
- Program nutrition requirements were developed in consultation with expert volunteers.
Validation of Criteria
- A 2014 research study found that people who report eating foods that meet Heart-Check certification requirements are more likely to eat healthier and have fewer heart disease risk factors.
Transparent Criteria that Comply with Federal Labeling Regulations
- Heart-Check Food Certification Program nutrition requirements are publicly available on our website.
- All nutrition requirements comply with federal regulations for coronary heart disease health claims.
Strong Monitoring and Enforcement
- Program staff validate that products’ Nutrition Facts label values meet Heart-Check nutrition requirements.
- Lab tests are required when certain nutrient values approach certification limits.
- Program staff conduct packaging and promotional reviews to ensure compliance with program requirements.
Ease of Use
- The Heart-Check mark is easy to spot and takes much of the guesswork out of reading Nutrition Facts and label information.
- Bundled nutrition requirements take a wide variety of nutrients into account, including saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and beneficial nutrients.
- Most certified products are available through national grocery chains.