The FDA recently approved the first-ever qualified health claim for yogurt, recognizing a potential link between its regular consumption and a reduced risk of type-2 diabetes.

Lee karen
Managing Editor / Progressive Dairy

This is significant news for consumers, yogurt manufacturers and the dairy industry.

Qualified health claims are not achieved easily, with only 12 claims announced since 1990.

The FDA’s decision came in response to a petition submitted by Danone North America, and it took nearly five years to achieve.

During its decision, the FDA reviewed the existing research on yogurt and type-2 diabetes, which included data from over 300,000 individuals, and found including yogurt in the typical American diet could have a significant benefit to public health.


Two versions of the new claim were permitted by the FDA, including “Eating yogurt regularly (at least three servings per week) may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, according to limited scientific evidence” or “Eating yogurt regularly may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. FDA has concluded there is limited information supporting this claim.” 

The new claim is available for all yogurt makers and gives Americans another reason to consume yogurt.

Diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., impacting more than 37 million Americans, with 1.4 million new cases diagnosed every year. The overwhelming majority of these cases are type-2 diabetes, the risk for which can often be managed with lifestyle changes such as being more active and eating nutrient-rich foods.

Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food that is a good source of protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. In addition, vitamin D is added to some yogurts.

Yogurt is also a more easily digestible alternative to milk for many people because, on average, it contains less lactose. In addition, yogurt’s live and active cultures continue to have activity in the intestinal tract and may allow lactose-intolerant individuals to enjoy dairy products with fewer associated symptoms.

“We now know that eating yogurt regularly is not only an excellent source of essential nutrients, it also can have a significant benefit to public health, including reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes,” said Roberta Wagner, International Dairy Foods Association’s (IDFA) senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs. “This decision by FDA should be closely considered by members of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, alongside the growing body of science demonstrating the health benefits of consuming dairy products at all fat levels, which shows these products are not associated with higher risk of negative health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Altogether, dairy products continue to demonstrate they are central to healthy, balanced diets for all people of all ages.”