Food labels - Better Health Channel (2023)

What are food labels?

Food labels carry useful information to help you make informed choices about what you and your family eat and drink. Most packaged foods are required to have a label with this information, but the information required depends on the food type.

The food label will tell you all sorts of information, including:

  • what the food is
  • manufacturer’s details
  • nutrition information
  • ingredients
  • weights and measures of product
  • date marking
  • directions for use and storage
  • country of origin
  • allergens and additives
  • any nutrition and health claims.

Some foods and drinks will have additional labelling requirements.

Some foods that are unlabelled (for example fresh fruit and vegetables or foods bought where they are made, such as bread at a bakery) may still be provided but could be on display with the food or provided if you ask for it.

Use-by and best-before dates on food labels

Foods with a shelf life of less than 2 years must have a best-before or use-by date. These terms mean different things.

Best-before date on food labels

The best-before date refers to food quality – food stored in the recommended way will remain of good quality until that date.

Once the best-before date has passed, the food may still be safe to consume, but it may have lost some quality and nutritional value.

Products with a best-before date can legally be sold after that date, provided the product is still fit for human consumption.

Use-by date on food labels

Foods that should not be consumed after a certain date for health and safety reasons must have a use-by date.

This means they cannot be sold after that date. You will find use-by dates on perishables such as meat, fish and dairy products.

Baked product labels

Bread is an exception to this rule as it can carry a ‘baked on’ or ‘baked for’ date if its shelf life is less than 7 days. This is so you can tell how fresh the food is.

When is food okay to eat?

The best way to tell whether food is safe to eat is to:

  • Check the use-by or best-before date when food shopping.
  • Keep an eye on the use-by or best-before dates on the food in your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer.
  • Never eat any food that is past its use-by date, even if it looks and smells okay.

List of ingredients on food labels

All ingredients must be listed in descending order by weight, including added water. Remember:

  • The first ingredient listed is present in the largest amount by weight.
  • The last ingredient listed is present in the least amount by weight.

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What are compound ingredients?

Some ingredients used in foods are called ‘compound ingredients’. These are ingredients made by a mixture of other ingredients. For example, chocolate (cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar) or pasta (flour, egg, water).

On food labels, the ingredient list must contain all ingredients including those that make up compound ingredients. For example, chocolate chip ice-cream lists the ingredients that make up ice-cream, but it also contains chocolate, so the ingredients that make up chocolate are listed too (cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar).

If an ingredient makes up less than 5% of the food, it does not have to be listed. Likewise, any compound ingredients that make up less than 5% of the product, can just be listed as the compound ingredient rather than all of its own ingredients – for example ‘chocolate’ (rather than cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar) in a chocolate chip ice cream.

(Video) HealthWorks! Healthy Living Series: Reading Food Labels | Cincinnati Children's

This 5% rule does not apply to any additive or allergen, including if they are part of a compound ingredient – these must be listed no matter how small the amount.

Percentage labelling ingredients on food labels

Most packaged foods must show the percentage of the characterising ingredient(s) or component(s) of a food. For example, a jar of peanut butter might say 85% peanuts while another might be 100% peanuts.

This information can be useful when comparing different products. The cocoa solids in chocolate is an example of a characterising component (for example 35% cocoa solids).

Some foods do not have any characterising ingredients or components, such as cheese or white bread.

How to read the ingredient list to choose healthier foods

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends that we limit our intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.

The ingredient list is a great place to start when choosing healthier foods. Keep in mind that manufacturers can use a variety of different ingredients or forms that may contribute fats, sugars and salt to products.

Saturated and other added fats

(Note: terms such as ‘oven fried’ and ‘baked’ or ‘toasted’ imply that fat has been used during food preparation.)


(Note: look for ingredients ending in ‘-ose’ or ‘-tol’.)

  • beef fat
  • butter
  • shortening
  • coconut
  • coconut oil or palm oil
  • copha
  • cream
  • dripping
  • lard
  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • vegetable oils and fats
  • hydrogenated oils
  • full-cream milk powder
  • egg (cholesterol)
  • mono-, di- or triglycerides
  • brown sugar
  • corn syrup
  • deionised fruit juice
  • dextrose
  • disaccharides
  • fructose
  • fruit juice concentrate/fruit paste
  • glucose
  • golden syrup
  • honey
  • lactose
  • malt
  • maltose
  • mannitol
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • monosaccharides
  • raw sugar
  • sorbitol
  • sucrose
  • xylitol
  • baking powder
  • booster
  • celery salt
  • garlic salt
  • sodium
  • meat or yeast extract
  • onion salt
  • monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • rock salt
  • sea salt
  • seasoning
  • sodium bicarbonate
  • sodium metabisulphate
  • sodium nitrate/nitrite
  • stock cubes

Food additives

All food additives must have a specific use and be assessed and approved by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

Food additives can be used to improve quality of a food or improve the flavour or appearance of a food. They must be used in the lowest possible quantity to achieve their purpose.

Food additives are included in the ingredient list according to their class and purpose (for example anti-caking agent).

In most cases, a chemical name or food additive number will be listed after the class. Enzymes and most flavourings only need to list their class name:

  • colour (tartrazine)
  • colour (102)
  • preservative (200)
  • emulsifier (lecithin).

The same food additive numbering system is used throughout the world.

Vitamins and minerals are also listed under food additives.

An alphabetical and a numbered food additives list can be found on the FSANZ website.

Unpackaged foods and foods in small packages (with a surface area of less than 100cm2) are not required to carry a list of ingredients and therefore, do not need to list any additives.

Additives included in compound ingredients (that make up less than 5% of the food) do not have to be listed, unless the additives in the compound ingredient perform a specific purpose in the final product.

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However, any additive that is also an allergen, must be declared, regardless of quantity.

Nutrition information panel (NIP)

The nutrition information panel (NIP) tells you the quantity of various nutrients a food contains per serve, as well as per 100 g or 100 ml.

Serving size is determined by the manufacturer and will often vary among products. They may not always reflect the amount typically eaten in one sitting (which can make a product appear less unhealthy).

Under labelling laws introduced in Australia in 2003, virtually all manufactured foods must carry an NIP. There are exceptions to the labelling requirements, such as:

  • very small packages and foods like herbs, spices, salt, tea and coffee
  • single ingredient foods (such as fresh fruit and vegetables, water and vinegar)
  • food sold at fundraising events
  • food sold unpackaged (if a nutrition claim such as a 'good source of calcium' is not made)
  • food made and packaged at the point of sale.

Nutrients listed in the NIP

The NIP provides information on 7 nutrients:

  • energy (in kilojoules)
  • protein
  • total fat
  • saturated fat
  • total carbohydrates
  • sugars
  • sodium.

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Other nutrients such as fibre, potassium, calcium and iron may be listed in the NIP if a claim is made on the label. For example, if a food claims to be a ‘good source of calcium’, then the amount of calcium in the product must be listed in the NIP.

Using the NIP to choose healthier products

Nutrients are displayed in a standard format – amount per serve and per 100g (or 100ml if liquid).

Another way to look at these numbers is to think of them as percentages. For example, 35g of sugar means the product contains 35% sugar.

When comparing products, it’s best to use the ‘per 100g’ or ‘per 100ml’ value because serving size can differ between manufacturers. For example:

Large amounts per 100g: Small amounts per 100g:
  • 30g of sugars
  • 20g of fat
  • 3g of fibre
  • 600mg of sodium
  • 2g of sugars
  • 3g of fat
  • 0.5g of fibre
  • 20mg sodium

Nutrition claims on food labels

Don’t be misled, terms used by manufacturers are often misleading. For example:

  • The term ‘light’ or ‘lite’ doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is low in fat or energy (kilojoules). The term ‘light’ may refer to the texture, colour or taste of the product. The characteristic that makes the food ‘light’ must be stated on the label.
  • The claims ‘no cholesterol’, ‘low cholesterol’ or ‘cholesterol free’ on foods derived from plants (like margarine and oil) are meaningless because all plant foods contain virtually no cholesterol. However, some can be high in fat and can contribute to weight gain if used too generously.
  • If an item claims to be 93% fat free, it actually contains 7% fat, but it looks so much better the other way.
  • ‘Baked not fried’ sounds healthier, but it may still have just as much fat – check the nutrition information panel to be sure.
  • ‘Fresh’ actually means the product hasn’t been preserved by freezing, canning, high-temperature or chemical treatment. However, it may have been refrigerated and spent time in processing and transport.

Nutrition and health claims on food labels must meet guidelines

Manufacturers can make various claims regarding the content of their product. Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code Standard 1.2.7 Nutrition, health and related claims controls the use of content claims on food labels.

Nutrition content claims make statements about certain nutrients or substances in a food (for example, ‘high in calcium’).

For a manufacturer to make various claims, their products must meet various guidelines including:

  • No added sugar – products must not contain added sugar, but may contain natural sugars.
  • Reduced fat or salt – should be at least a 25% reduction from the original product.
  • Low fat – must contain less than 3% fat for solid foods (1.5% for liquid foods).
  • Fat free – must be less than 0.15% fat.
  • Percentage of fat – remember 80% fat free is the same as 20% fat, which is a large amount.
  • Good source of – must contain no less than 25% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for that vitamin or mineral.

Health claims can also be made about a food product and relate to a nutrient or substance in a food, and its effect on health. There are 2 types of health claims:

  • General level health claims – demonstrate the effect on a health function due to a nutrient or substance that is present in a food, such as ‘calcium is good for bones’.
  • High level health claims – refer to a serious disease or biomarker and its relationship to a nutrient or substance according to scientific research. For example, diets high in calcium can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. There are only 13 pre-approved high level health claims that can be made in Australia.

Voluntary labelling – Percentage Daily Intake (%DI) and Health Star Rating (HSR)

Some manufacturers voluntarily display additional symbols related to the nutrition content of the product.

Percentage Daily Intake (%DI) and Heath Star Rating (HSR symbols) are voluntary labelling systems. Although these symbols can be helpful when selecting foods, it is important to use them alongside other labelling (such as nutrition information panels and ingredient lists) as there may in fact be healthier alternatives that don’t use these labels.

Percentage Daily Intake (%DI)

Percentage Daily Intake (%DI) symbols display a product’s nutrient amount as one serving, and the percentage of an average adult’s requirements that it provides.

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These symbols display energy (kilojoules), and other nutrients (such as fat, saturated fat, sugars, sodium, carbohydrates, protein and a vitamin or mineral).

Keep in mind, %DI is based on serving size. It can be difficult to use when comparing products because serving sizes vary as they are set by manufacturers.

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It is best to use the ‘per 100g’ or ‘per 100ml’ value in the nutrition information panel when comparing products.

Also, %DI labelling can make some products seem healthier by presenting information based on smaller serving sizes than what would be typically consumed in one sitting.

Health Star Rating (HSR) system

The Health Star Rating (HSR) system is a government-led front-of-pack labelling system that rates the overall nutrition content of packaged food from ½ a star to 5 stars. The more stars a product has, the healthier it is.

HSR labels either appear by themselves or along with specific nutritional information:

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The key to using HSR stars is to compare similar products – such as, between 2 different types of yoghurt, rather than between a type of yoghurt and a loaf of bread.

Many foods that should regularly be eaten as part of a healthy diet don’t use HSRs. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables, foods not intended to be eaten as is (such as flour) and others (such as tea, vinegar and those that don’t require NIPs).

Allergens on food labels

Food labels are important for people with food allergies or intolerance. The main foods or ingredients that may cause severe adverse reactions must be declared on the label no matter how small the amount.

Common foods that may cause allergies include:
peanuts and other nuts
fish and shellfish
• wheat
• sesame seeds
• soy.

From May 2018, lupin must also be declared as an allergen.

Gluten labelling

Gluten-containing cereals (such as wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt) also need to be declared on food labels for people with conditions (such as coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity).

Manufacturers must adhere to strict requirements if labelling products as ‘gluten free’ or ‘low gluten’, as outlined in Standard 1.2.7 Nutrition, health and related claims.

Other possible health risks

Likewise, products containing sulphites at 10 or more mg/kg of food, must declare this on the label.

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There must also be information to alert people of a possible health risk from some ingredients – including, aspartame, quinine, caffeine, guarana, royal jelly, unpasteurised milk or egg.

A full list of advisory and warning statement requirements can be found on the FSANZ website.

Any foods and ingredients derived from allergenic sources that have been assessed as safe for consumers who would otherwise be sensitive (such as glucose syrup made from wheat starch or soy derivatives) do not need to be declared on the label.

A full list of exemptions are listed on the FSANZ website.

‘May contain’ labelling

Some labels may also state ‘may contain’. This is because there is a possibility that traces of an allergen may be present in a food unintentionally – such as food processed on the same equipment as products that contain nuts. However, these are voluntary statements made by food manufacturers and are not regulated by FSANZ.

Country of origin on food labels

Since 1 July 2018, country of origin labelling has fallen under the Australian Consumer Law rather than FSANZ. Under this law, most foods and drinks for retail sale must show country of origin details on their labels or on in-store packaging.

This type of labelling depends on whether the product was grown, produced, made or packaged in Australia or overseas. It also depends on whether the food is a ‘priority’ or ‘non-priority’ and how it is displayed for sale.

  • Grown in – where the ingredients are from and will often be used on fresh foods, as well as foods that contain many ingredients (for example the tomatoes in pasta sauce).
  • Produced in – where the ingredients come from as well as where any processing has happened (for example, wheat grown and then processed into pasta). Both processed and fresh foods tend to use this claim.
  • Made in – refers to the manufacturing process that the food was produced with.

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Priority foods

Most foods are priority foods – including vegetables, fruit, meat, milk, seafood, bread, nuts, cereals, honey and juice.

When priority foods are grown, produced or made in Australia, their country of origin labels will display a kangaroo in a green triangle and a bar chart which says what shows the proportion of the food is Australian.

Only priority foods that are produced or grown using 100% Australian ingredients can use the produced or grown in Australia label.

Imported foods

Imported foods do not have to use the same country or origin labelling but like non-priority foods, must include a text statement about where the food was grown, produced, made or packaged.

Some manufacturers will include other logos, symbols or statements such as ‘Proudly Australian owned’ but this is up to the manufacturer. They must be clear, accurate and truthful.

Foods from cafes, restaurants, schools, takeaway shops and caterers do not have to show country of origin labelling.

Other symbols

There are a range of other symbols that manufacturers may include on products – some of which are standardised (but may or may not be regulated).

Others are simply designed to capture your eye as a consumer. Some examples include Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) free, Glycaemic Index (GI), organic and free-range.

Kilojoule (energy) labelling on unpackaged, ready-to-eat foods

From 1 May 2018, the Victorian Government requires large chain food businesses and supermarkets to display kilojoules (energy content) on:

  • labels
  • menus and menu boards
  • price tags of standardised ready-to-eat foods and non-alcoholic drinks.

Find out more about kilojoule labelling in Victoria .

Where to get help


How does food Labelling promote healthy eating? ›

Most products have nutritional information on the label. Some products also have colour coding on the front, which tells you at a glance if the food has high (red) , medium (amber) or low (green) amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt. The more green(s) on the label, the healthier the choice.

Are the health claims on food labels accurate and reliable? ›

The health claims must be balanced and based on current, reliable scientific studies and must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What is the food label 5/20 rule? ›

Though not an end-all test, a quick way to read the percent daily values is to use the 5/20 rule. This says that if the %DV is less than 5% there is a low amount of this nutrient, while if the %DV is greater than 20% there is a high amount of this nutrient.

What are the four new changes to the food label? ›

The changes include modifying the list of required nutrients that must be declared on the label, updating serving size requirements, and providing a refreshed design. The current Nutrition Facts label makes it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about the food they eat.

Why is using food labels important? ›

Food labelling is one way in which consumers can get knowledge about the food they consider buying. Correctly following the information provided on food labels (such as expiry dates, handling instructions and allergy warnings) can help consumers prevent unnecessary food-borne illness and allergic reactions.

Why is it important to read labels of health products? ›

Ingredients: The label on a product allows the customer to know what is in the food they're eating or the product they're using. This allows the consumer to know how healthy, or unhealthy, the product is. It's also important to display the ingredients for those who may be allergic to certain ingredients.

Should I trust food labels? ›

On Nutrition

In fact, when reading food labels, a dose of healthy cynicism may help you be … healthy. Some information on the label can help you make nutritious food choices, while other information can lead you to think you're making a healthy choice — even when you aren't.

Should I trust nutrition labels? ›

You may be wondering now how accurate these standards are. It depends on the food matrix and the nutrient, but in general NIST's measurements are accurate to within 2% to 5% for nutrient elements (such as sodium, calcium and potassium), macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates), amino acids and fatty acids.

Do people trust food labels? ›

All respondents & correctly identified: respondents in households with children generally showed moderately higher label trust across all food types and labels. All respondents & correctly identified: trust in food information source was moderately correlated with trust in the associated label for all food types.

What is the 10 rule in nutrition? ›

The diet is based on the idea that the optimal diet should provide at least 80% of calories from carbs, with no more than 10% of calories from protein and 10% from fats. Unlike many popular diets, the 80/10/10 Diet has no time limit.

What are 3 things to remember when making healthy food choices? ›

The 3 Most Important Things to Look for on a Nutrition Label
  • The Serving Size. The serving size listed in Nutrition Facts is the amount that is often consumed at one sitting. ...
  • The Percent Daily Value (%DV) ...
  • The Best Profile.
26 Feb 2020

What 3 nutrients on the Nutrition Facts label do most people generally want to get less of? ›

Saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars are nutrients listed on the label that may be associated with adverse health effects – and Americans generally consume too much of them, according to the recommended limits for these nutrients. They are identified as nutrients to get less of.

Is peanut butter high protein? ›

Peanut butter is a popular food, often praised for its high protein content. A two-tablespoon serving packs eight grams of protein, making it an easy way to add protein to a variety of snacks or a meal.

What's new with the Nutrition Facts label? ›

What information is no longer required on the label? Calories from fat has been removed because research shows the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount. Vitamin A and C are no longer required on the label since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare today.

What is the FDA definition of the healthy food label? ›

The definition, which was set in 1994, allows for food manufacturers to add the word “healthy” to their products, as long as the products have limited amounts of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and provide at least 10 percent of the daily value of one or more of the following nutrients: vitamin A, ...

Why is it important to have labels? ›

Labels also provide descriptive information, such as the size, ingredients, instructions on how to use the product, how to store the product properly, and more. All of this helps bring the product to life while at the same time supplying the customer with useful details.

Why is Labelling important? ›

Labelling is an important part of the marketing of a product. Labelling is essential as it helps to grab the attention of a customer It can be combined with packaging and can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Packaging is also used for convenience and information transmission.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of food labeling? ›

Top 10 Food Label Pros & Cons – Summary List
Food Label ProsFood Label Cons
Overview of nutrition valuesOnly basic information on food labels
People may adjust food consumptionInsufficient regarding individual lives
Fewer health issues related to obesityMasking of unhealthy products
Government savingsDeceptive promises
6 more rows

Are food labels effective as a means of health prevention? ›

Moreover, findings of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized studies by Cecchini and Warin endorse the role of nutrition labeling as an effective approach to empower consumers healthier choices.

How is reading food labels important to you now? ›

Food labels are a legal requirement and they are important for many reasons. They help consumers make informed choices about the food they buy, help them to store and use it safely and allows people to plan when they will consume it – all of which help to reduce food wastage.

What is the most important part of a food label? ›

The center of the nutrition label contains nutrients that should be consumed in limited quantities — fat, cholesterol and sodium. Americans are either getting a sufficient amount of these nutrients or too much of these nutrients. It is important to view these numbers with the serving size in mind.

Are all food labels reliable Why? ›

The good news is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has your back. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act—which provides authority for FDA's consumer-protection work—requires that labels on packaged food products in interstate commerce not be false or misleading in any way.

How accurate are the calories on food labels? ›

According to the FDA, food products can contain as much as 20% more calories than what is printed on the label. For example, a Lean Cuisine shrimp and pasta dish stated a count of 250 calories; researchers found that it actually contained 319 calories, a difference of 28%.

Which meat labels can you trust? ›

To be certain the meat you buy comes from animals that are humanely raised, look for the Animal Welfare Approved seal, a GAP 1-5+ label, or the Certified Humane seal. The USDA Organic seal has some animal welfare standards, such as adequate space, but not to the same degree as other animal welfare labels.

Do nutrition labels work? ›

As we and other colleagues recently reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, food labeling had some effects on consumer choices: They reduced the intake of calories by 6.6 percent, total fat by 10.6 percent, and other generally unhealthy choices by 13 percent.

What happens if the nutrition label is wrong? ›

Multiple food label issues will result in customer fines or delayed shipments. A company can end up delivering the wrong order to a customer if food products are labeled incorrectly for shipment.

Are daily values accurate? ›

Answer: Yes and no. The most current DVs (Daily Values), updated by the FDA in 2016, do accurately reflect the basic daily intake requirements for vitamins and minerals. However, companies are not required to use the updated DVs on product labels until at least 2020.

Do consumers understand food labels? ›

In our study, 57.7% consumers “don't understand” the food labels, whereas 39.7% “partially understand” the food labels information.

Why do people look at food labels? ›

Keep healthy – Labels help you to understand the composition of your food: its vitamins, minerals, calories, fats, etc. This information is fundamental in ensuring that you are eating the kinds of food that are good for you.

What percentage of people read food labels? ›

With a whopping 77 percent of Americans actually reading food labels, 71 percent are looking at sugar when they read a nutrition label. But it's not just sugar that tops the list of concerns for Americans.

Why are food labels important in helping us maintain our health? ›

The information on food labels is intended to help consumers become savvy about their food choices. The front, back, and sides of a package are filled with information to inform us what the food contains and to provide guidance in making healthier selections of processed foods.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of food labeling? ›

Top 10 Food Label Pros & Cons – Summary List
Food Label ProsFood Label Cons
Overview of nutrition valuesOnly basic information on food labels
People may adjust food consumptionInsufficient regarding individual lives
Fewer health issues related to obesityMasking of unhealthy products
Government savingsDeceptive promises
6 more rows

Why can labeling food as being good vs bad be misleading? ›

Labeling food as good or bad is dangerous

Assigning moral value to food threatens self-esteem. Our sense of self is not dependent upon what we ate or didn't eat in a given day. The foods we eat, how much we exercise, or a number on a scale cannot determine the value and worth we hold as human beings.

What nutritional information must be provided on food labels? ›

Nutrition labels must display the amount of energy (calories and kilojoules) and the amount of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and salt (all expressed in grams) present in 100g (or 100 ml) of the food.

Why is it important to have labels? ›

Labels also provide descriptive information, such as the size, ingredients, instructions on how to use the product, how to store the product properly, and more. All of this helps bring the product to life while at the same time supplying the customer with useful details.

Why is Labelling important? ›

Labelling is an important part of the marketing of a product. Labelling is essential as it helps to grab the attention of a customer It can be combined with packaging and can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Packaging is also used for convenience and information transmission.

What is the most important part of a food label? ›

The center of the nutrition label contains nutrients that should be consumed in limited quantities — fat, cholesterol and sodium. Americans are either getting a sufficient amount of these nutrients or too much of these nutrients. It is important to view these numbers with the serving size in mind.

What are two benefits of being aware of food marketing? ›

Benefits of being aware of food marketing

recognize when foods are being marketed to you. decide whether a food item is healthy by using food labels rather than relying on marketing messages alone. teach those who may be more vulnerable to food marketing, like young children and teens, about marketing techniques.

What information is on food labels? ›

A Nutrition Facts label lists the nutritional content, the serving size, and the calories for a recommended serving of a food product. This helps consumers make the best decision on how much to eat, maybe when they want to eat this food, or how they can better balance their food choices throughout the day.

What is the daily value on a nutrition label? ›

Decoding the Food Label: Percent Daily Value (% DV)

For example, if the label lists 20% DV for calcium, it means that one serving provides 20% of the calcium you need each day. DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults.

Should you label food as good or bad? ›

Increases Your Stress About Eating

And a step in the right direction to stop stressing about food is to stop labelling food as “good” or “bad.” If you eat something that you think is “bad” you feel like you're a failure or that you need to “make up for it” with “good” food later.

Is labeling good or bad? ›

Labels may seem innocuous, but they can be harmful. Labeling ourselves can negatively affect our self-esteem and hold us back. And labeling people can cause the persistence of negative stereotypes.

Why is food labeling bad? ›

Labeling foods in this manner attaches an emotional association or gives morality to foods. If one eats a food they label as bad or unhealthy, this usually results in a feeling of guilt or disappointment. Some individuals may feel the need to compensate at other meals or at the gym.

Can we trust food labels? ›

For consumers, food labels are extremely important for communication relating to our health, however research shows that consumers don't really trust the health claims that that manufacturers make on their food products.

Can you trust nutrition labels? ›

Nutrition labels can be inaccurate by up to 20% when it comes to listing calories, according to the FDA. This can be frustrating, but experts say it probably won't ruin an otherwise healthy diet. Sticking to whole, unprocessed foods can be a helpful strategy to avoid surprise calories in processed foods.

What are the 7 mandatory nutrients? ›

There are seven main classes of nutrients that the body needs. These are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. It is important that everyone consumes these seven nutrients on a daily basis to help them build their bodies and maintain their health.


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