The majority of pre-packed foods in the UK provide some nutritional information on the label - this can help you to make healthier choices when you are shopping and to be aware when you are choosing foods (or drinks) that are high in calories, saturates, sugars or salt.
These pages describe the information you can find on food labels about nutrition and how you can use this to help you choose a healthy diet.
A new European regulation on food labelling comes into force on 13th December 2014, controlling all the information you see on food labels from nutrition labelling and the ingredients list, to the size of the writing used.
Nutrition labelling is not compulsory until 2016, but any nutrition labels used now must follow the format in the regulation. Many supermarkets and food manufacturers are already following the new rules. Under the new European regulation, different countries can develop their own national schemes for front of pack nutrition labelling. As part of this a new format for front of pack labels has been developed in the UK.
What do nutrition labels on food include now?
• Energy is provided per 100g and per portion, and as kJ and kcal
• GDAs have been replaced by Reference Intakes (RIs)
• % RI is used for fat, saturates, sugars and salt
• The order of nutrients on the back of pack has changed
• In the UK on the front of packs, colour coding and high/medium/low labelling is used for fat, saturates, sugars and salt (but not energy)
• The criteria for red, amber and green colour coding has changed