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The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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Week 4: What do food labels tell us?


Welcome to Week 4 of the course.

This week, you will be learning about the information given on food labels.

By the end of this week’s study you should be able to understand:

  • what the regulations are for food labelling
  • how food is analysed and the food tables
  • the traffic-light system for food labelling
  • the claims made on packaging.

In the following video, Audrey Brown from The Open University finds out whether some members of staff at the University look at food labels and what they look for on them.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_nutrition_vid_1044.mp4
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Over the last three weeks we’ve looked at the components of food and what happens to food after you eat it. You have also looked at the importance of hydration for your body and mind. This week, we will look at the parts of a food label – ingredients, nutritional information and reference intake or guideline daily amounts – and try to make sense of the numbers.

Food labels were mentioned in Week 1 and we asked you to start collecting some. Since then, you have learned some more about food and the importance of its components.

  • Do you look differently at food labels now?
  • How much of the information on it do you understand?