The food industry is a complex, global collective of diverse businesses that supply most of the food consumed by the world population. Only subsistence farmers, those who survive on what they grow, can be considered outside of the scope of the modern food industry.
The food industry includes:
Health food is food considered beneficial to health in ways that go beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition. Because there is no precise, authoritative definition from regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, different dietary practices can be considered healthy depending on context.
Foods considered "healthy" may be natural foods, organic foods, whole foods, and sometimes vegetarian or dietary supplements. Such products are sold in health food stores or in the health/organic sections of supermarkets.
In the United States, health-related claims on nutrition facts labels are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while advertising is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the FDA, "Health claims describe a relationship between a food, food component, or dietary supplement ingredient, and reducing risk of a disease or health-related condition".
In general, claims of health benefits for specific foodstuffs have not been evaluated by national regulatory agencies. Additionally, research funded by manufacturers or marketers that may form the basis of such marketing claims has been shown to result in more favorable results than independently funded research.