NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Knowledge is Power - Facts at Your Fingertips

Knowledge is Power - Facts at Your Fingertips


Food labels provide a wealth of valuable information for consumers who are making decisions and choices about the foods and beverages they consume. 

Teaching people to interpret and use the information on Nutrition Facts labels is one of the many, many things I am so happy to get to do.  Last week I was with fourth grade students in a health and wellness class I am currently teaching and the students took on the role of “label detectives.”

The fourth graders gleaned all the information they could from nutrition facts labels on food containers and packages.  Quickly grasping some of the basic concepts, they felt empowered. 

The Food and Drug Administration establishes rules regarding Nutrition Facts labels.  The newest version was phased in by food manufacturers between January 2020 and January 2021. 

Some of the notable changes include

  • Larger, bolder information about serving sizes
  • Updated serving sizes
  • Enlarged statement of calories
  • Updated daily values (DVs)
  • Detailed information about total sugars and added sugars
  • Vitamin D content
  • Potassium content

To be an informed and empowered consumer, read nutrition facts labels. Always start at the top of the label, noting what amount of food or beverage from the container or package is considered to be a “serving.”  All the other information on the label relates back to that amount of food or beverage.

Next, take into consideration the amount of food or beverage you are consuming from that container or package, whether it be more or less than the amount that is specified as a serving.

If the amount you are consuming is more than the amount identified on the label as being a serving, realize that because of that, you are also consuming more calories, sugars, fats, and nutrients than what is stated on the label.  How much more is something you can calculate mathematically.

Contact me at 701-724-3355 or cindy.klapperich@ndsu.edu if you’d like more information about this topic, or if you would be interested in the upcoming class, “Q &A About Vitamin D.”

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/grocery-rice-ingredient-cooking-3314776/ (downloaded 3/23/2021)



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