What are health claims?
Health claims are voluntary statements that refer to a relationship between a food and a health benefit.
There are 2 types of health claims:
- general level health claims or nutrition content claims
- high-level health claims
General level health claim
A general level health claim links a food product to a health effect that relates to general health and wellbeing. An example might be ‘Calcium is good for strong bones’.
High-level health claim
A high-level health claim identifies products that can protect against a serious disease or a risk factor for a serious disease. An example might be ‘Diets high in calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of osteoporosis’.
What are nutrition content claims
A nutrition content claim states how much of a nutrient or substance is in a food. Examples might be, 'a good source of vitamin C' or 'gluten-free'.
Making and substantiating a health claim
Health claims must be backed by robust scientific evidence. They are only permitted on foods that meet certain nutrition requirements.
Nutrition and health claims regulation
New Zealand and Australia have a common regulation for nutrition and health claims called "Standard 1.2.7 — Nutrition, Health and Related Claims". Standard 1.2.7 states the requirements for making a health claim.
This regulation applies to any claims made on labels or in advertising. Advertising includes:
- through social media
- on television, radio, and in print.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has carried out surveys of the nutrition and health claims being made in New Zealand.
New Zealand nutrition and health claims survey 2016/17 [PDF, 264 KB]
Investment and initiatives supporting health claims
Support is available to help the research and development of health claims.
The main support in New Zealand is from:
Who to contact
If you have questions about health claims, email email@example.com