How to Read Nutrition Facts Labels

Publication
Article
Internal Medicine World ReportDecember 2006
Volume 0
Issue 0

Confused about nutrition labels? Want to make your calories count? Two new websites now available offer tools that will help you use the Nutrition Facts labels on food packaging to choose nutritious foods and achieve healthy weight management. Click on the links below to access these tools.

Make Your Calories Count

Nutrition Facts Label

The tools, —a web-based learning program—and a new brochure, are part of a joint initiative by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

By knowing how to use the Nutrition Facts label you will be able to take control of your caloric intake and weight and make healthy food choices. The program is designed to show you how to make more informed decisions about your food intake, serving sizes, percentages, and daily values.

Make Your Calories Count

is an interactive online program available at www.cfsan.fda.gov/labelman. The program features an animated character called “Labelman” who will lead you through a series of exercises on the food label—like helping you explore the relationship between serving sizes and calories while learning how to reduce nutrients that should be limited, such as saturated fat and sodium, and nutrients such as fiber and calcium that should be consumed in adequate amounts.

You can either download the complete training module or view all or part of the individual components of the 4-part program:

1. Preface: an overview of the program.

2. Size Up Your Serving & Calories: answers questions such as “How many servings are in the container?” and “How many calories are in a single serving?”

3. See What’s In It For You: includes information on how much saturated fat, sodium, fiber, and calcium are in foods such as pudding, soup, and cereal.

4. Judge If It’s Right For You: challenges you to ask, “Is this a smart choice?” before choosing certain foods.

The Nutrition Facts Label

Need help planning healthy meals? brochure, available at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/labgen.html, is a helpful tool that you can take with you that will help you to make better food choices and show you how the Nutrition Facts label can be used while shopping to plan a healthy diet.

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