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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food

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Make Your Calories Count

NOTE: FDA is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. For more information, see Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label. 


Use the Nutrition Facts Label for Healthy Weight Management

Make Your Calories Count is an interactive learning program that provides consumers with information to help plan a healthful diet while managing calorie intake. The exercises will help consumers use the food label to make decisions about which food choice is right for them. For simplicity, the program presents two nutrients that should be limited (saturated fat and sodium) and two nutrients that should be consumed in adequate amounts (fiber and calcium).

The program is available as an interactive Training Module for download. Also available are a transcript and PDF (1.7MB) of the learning.


View the entire Training Module* OR  individual training components:

PrefaceLabelman character (TM) - cartoon character displaying a nutrition label

Three Simple Steps

  • Size Up Your Serving and Calories

  • See What's In It For You

  • Judge If It's Right For You

Step 1: Size Up Your Serving & Calories*   

  • What is the serving size?
  • How many servings are in the container?
  • How many calories are in a single serving?
    • Example: Breakfast Foods
    • General Guide to Calories
      • Example: Cheesecake bites
      • Example: Shortbread Cookies

Step 2: See What's In It For You

  • Always Check the %DVs
  • Quick Guide to %DV
  • Saturated fat, sodium, fiber and calcium
    • Example: Cereal & fiber
    • Example: Pudding/Yogurt & calcium
    • Example: Soup & saturated fat
    • Example: Pretzels & sodium
  • It's more than just calories, it's also the nutrients that count

Step 3: Judge If It's Right For You

  • Pay attention to the serving size and the %DVs; Ask: Is this a smart choice?
  • Example: Milk, for one serving:
  • Example: Desserts
  • Example: One-dish Dinners.
    • Compare calories
    • Limit some nutrients
    • Get enough of other nutrients
    • Pull everything together
  • Judge if it is right for you: It's only three steps

Glossary
Definitions of food label and nutrition terms used in this presentation.

Resources
Additional food label and nutrition information from FDA and other Federal government agencies.


*Note: The interactive training module requires Adobe Flash Player; PDFs require Adobe Reader.

The character displayed above is a trademark of the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services.

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