• Interpret the reading of food labels and its
application in selection of food.
Dudek. G. susan, Nutrition essentials for Nursing
Practice, 7th edition, 2014, Lippincott.
• Information provided on a label includes
Nutrition Facts and an ingredient list; nutrient
content claims, health claims, and
structure/function claims may also be found.
• The Nutrition Facts label gives consumers
“facts” they need to know to make informed
decisions as they shop for food. Figure 9.1 lists
facts about the Nutrition Facts label.
• Everything Hinges on Portion
Size. All information that appears on the
Nutrition Facts label is specific for the
portion size listed. So if the actual portion
size eaten differs from that listed, all the
“facts” are incorrect.
• Because different varieties
of a food differ in weight,
there may be slight
differences in the serving
size among different
• Percent Daily Value May Not Be Accurate for an
Individual. The Percent Daily Value (%DV) stated
on the label may underestimate or overestimate
the contribution to an individual’s diet,
depending on how many calories the individual
• For nutrients whose amounts are based on a
percentage of total calories (e.g., carbohydrates,
fiber, fat, saturated fat), the %DV is calculated on
the basis of a 2000-calorie diet.
• The %DVs for vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium,
iron, vitamin E, folate, and zinc are based on
the 1968 Recommended Dietary Allowances.
• Manufacturers are required to list the %DV of
only four vitamins and minerals—namely,
vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron—
unless the food is enriched or fortified with
• However, a manufacturer
may choose to list other nutrients,
• which may make one brand of
an item appear more nutritious than
another. For instance, one brand
of yogurt boasts a 10% daily value
of vitamin B12, making it look
superior to another that also
contains vitamin B12 but does
not list it on the label because it is
• Percent Daily Value (%DV): the percentage of
how much of a particular nutrient or fiber a
person should consume based on a 2000-
• Ingredient List. Ingredients are listed
in descending order by weight. The further
down the list an item appears, the less of
that ingredient is in the product.
• This information gives the consumer a
relative idea of how much of each
ingredient is in a product but not the
• Look at the bolded words at the end of the
Nutrient Content Claims
• Terms such as “low,” “free,” and “high”
describe the level of a nutrient or substance in
a food. The terms are legally defined and so
they are reliable and valid.
• Nutrient claims may also compare the level of
a nutrient to that of comparable food with
terms such as “more,” “reduced,” or “light.”
Box 9.2 defines the terms used in nutrient
• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
approved certain health claims about the relationship
between specific nutrients or foods and the risk of a
disease or health related condition that meet
significant scientific agreement (SSA) (Box 9.3).
• Items that make one of these claims also meet other
requirements: (1) they do not exceed specific levels for
total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium; and (2)
they contain at least 10% of the Daily Values (DVs)
(before supplementation) for any one or all of the
following: protein, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C,
calcium, and iron.
• Additional health claim criteria are specific for
the claim made. For instance, the claim
regarding calcium and osteoporosis is only
allowed on foods that have at least 20% DV for
• The FDA allows certain qualified health claims
when the relationship between food, in Box 9.4.
Vit. C and E
Anti oxidant and anti cancer
• Structure/function claims offer the possibility that a
food may improve or support body function
An example of a disease claim needing approval is
“suppresses appetite to treat obesity,” whereas a function
claim that does not need approval is “suppresses appetite
to aid weight loss.” These structure claims had previously
been used primarily by supplement manufacturers with
the disclaimer that “These statements have not been
evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”