Nutrition labels are supposed to make things easier, right? 

Apparently this is not the case for some Canadians. Following up the Nutrition Facts Education Program that was launched in 2010, a new evaluation showed that many Canadians still struggle with nutrition labels. Two of the big problems that people had trouble with are discussed below.

 

One of the most common problems were comparing products. Many consumers found it overwhelming to compare one product to another, especially because the serving sizes are often different between products. In the basic example provided below, cracker A has less overall calories but a smaller serving size compared to cracker B which has more calories but a much larger serving size.


One serving of cracker A  (50 grams) may only have 100 calories.

VS

One serving of cracker B (90 grams) may have 120 calories. 
 

The second most common problem was with the daily value %. Yes, there is a number there, but what does it mean? How much is too much sodium in a serving size? How much is enough fiber? Above is a very helpful picture from Health Canada to help to quickly understand a little from a lot. This means that less than 5% of the Daily Value is a little, and over 15% is a lot. 

 

You may want more of:

 

You may want to limit:

 

Nutrition labels are a wonderful tool to help in making healthy choices, but only if we use them. There are wonderful resources being posted in our Tips & Tools section. 

Nutrition Label Literacy

by Kelly Whalen

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© 2018 by The Dietitians Network of Nova Scotia.