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Food Safety

Food for weight reduction

About the regulation

Commission Directive 96/8/EC of 26 February 1996, adopted under the old legislative framework of Directive 2009/39/EC, currently lays down compositional and labelling requirements for foods intended to be used in energy restricted diets for weight reduction.

These foods are:

  • Total diet replacement products for weight control

  • Meal replacement products for weight control

The compositional criteria include requirements on energy, protein quantity and quality, fat quantity and type, minimum and maximum levels for dietary fibre and minimum levels for certain vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional substances that may be used in the manufacture of these products are laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 953/2009.

Commission Directive 2007/29/EC of 30 May 2007 amends Directive 96/8/EC to adapt its rules to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods. Through this Directive it is also allowed to make claims referring to a reduction in the sense of hunger or an increase in the sense of satiety if the claims comply with EU legislation.

What has the new Regulation done?

For food for weight reduction, from 20 July 2016;

The Regulation:

  • Sets general compositional and labelling rules for total diet replacement products for weight control.

  • Requires the Commission to adopt, through delegated act, specific compositional and labelling rules for total diet replacement products for weight control. Until the finalisation of the delegated act, the rules of Directive 96/8/EC remain applicable to these products.

  • Establishes that rules on the use of statements on meal replacement products [between 840 kJ (200 kcal) and 1 680 kJ (400 kcal)] should be regulated solely under Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims in order to ensure legal certainty.

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