A number of foods are labeled and advertised using nutritional claims or health claims that characterize the relationship between a food and a disease. However, in many instances the claims are not supported by evidence. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated studies assessing the role of 100% whey-protein partially hydrolyzed infant formula (W-PHF) in reducing the risk of atopic dermatitis. Dr. Carolyn Chung, from the FDA’s Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, wrote in Pediatrics (2012 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]):
The FDA concluded there is little to very little evidence to support a qualified health claim concerning the relationship between intake of W-PHF and a reduced risk of atopic dermatitis in partially breastfed and exclusively formula-fed infants throughout the first year after birth and up to 3 years of age. In addition, the FDA required a warning statement be displayed along with the health claim to indicate to consumers that partially hydrolyzed infant formulas are not hypoallergenic and should not be fed to infants who are allergic to milk or to infants with existing milk allergy symptoms.