Accurate Nutritional Data Labeling for Healthy Food Choices

Accurate Nutritional Data Labeling for Healthy Food Choices

Published On April 21, 2015 -   by

Consumers now want and expect to receive an abundant level of data about the products they are purchasing. In the case of food products, individuals are increasingly relying on nutritional data labeling to help them make more-informed choices. Diet has been shown to be a critical factor in improving health – 5 of the top 10 causes of death in the United States are linked to dietary choices.

There has also been legislation such as the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) that has influenced nutritional label requirements. In this article, DataEntryOutsourced explains nutritional labeling systems and the role of nutrition scale data entry in creating better nutritional awareness.

Benefits of Nutrition Labeling

When individuals are trying to make better food choices as part of a conscious strategy to prevent weight gain or to lose weight, nutritional data labeling is an excellent starting point. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association revealed that people who used nutrition labels after being told by their physicians to lose weight did in fact consume more fiber, fewer calories and less saturated fat, carbohydrates and sugar than those not using nutrition labels.

For consumers with special dietary requirements due to circumstances such as high blood lipids or diabetes, managing a potentially life-threatening situation is facilitated by nutritional data labeling. Manufacturers faced with nutritional label requirements should be encouraged to improve the nutrient profile of their products to enable competitive benefits versus other companies – and many food manufacturers are now using nutritional data in their marketing strategies.

Components of a Nutrition Facts Label

Thanks to nutritional label requirements, the components of nutrition facts labels for food products have been standardized to include the following information:

  • Serving Size and Servings Per Container – Familiar measurements such as pieces or cups are used to describe a typical serving. The nutrition data shown on the label is always based upon one serving.
  • Number of Calories – In addition to overall calories, calories from fat are shown separately.
  • Percentage of Daily Value – This data helps consumers assemble an overall daily diet that meets total nutritional needs.
  • Nutrients That Should Be Restricted – Labels help consumers avoid too much of “negative” nutrients such as trans-fat and sodium that increase the risks of conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Identifying Essential Nutrients – Labels show how much one serving contributes to daily needs for fiber, vitamins and minerals.

While nutrition facts labels are a valuable source of information for many consumers, there are two potential drawbacks. First, a busy shopper might not take the time to review labels. Second, low-literacy consumers might be confused by the labels and unable to read the information.

Understanding Food Labeling Legislation

The practical need to create nutrition facts labels is due to evidence-based public health findings that have led to food labeling legislation in many cases. One of the earliest examples was the NLEA (Nutritional Labeling and Education Act) that was implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994.

One limitation of the NLEA is that it only applies to packaged foods sold in stores and not to food consumed in locations such as restaurants. More recent legislation in the U.S. (the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010) now applies to business chains with more than 20 outlets and vending machines.

Food regulation in the UK is governed by the EU Provision of Food Information for Consumers Regulation. Food labeling is also guided in the United Kingdom by the government agency (DEFRA) responsible for regulating food issues.

The Role of Nutritional Data Entry Accuracy

Even though nutritional data labeling does not always guide consumer choices, Front of Pack (FOP) labeling accuracy is nevertheless required in many countries. Food companies need to ensure that their labels meet all label requirements.

Accurate Nutrition Data Entry is a starting point for these legal requirements involving nutritional data labeling for food producers and manufacturers. This is likely to be a time-consuming process, but the good news is that businesses can easily outsource data entry services to experts like DataEntryOutsourced.

Food manufacturers and producers must remember the need for nutritional data accuracy when completing the critical data entry part of this process. Because public health is involved, both consumers and government agencies expect accurate and high-quality results.

DEO Can Help You with Nutrition Scale Data Entry

When you are “checking the boxes” for completing all steps involved in getting to a finalized nutrition facts label, your company simply cannot afford to overlook data entry accuracy. In addition to potential legal problems if the nutritional data labeling is wrong in any way, your “brand” is likely to suffer if inaccuracies are as little as 0.1 percent. Due to the high expectations like this from both governments and consumers, consider using a professional data entry services company like DEO.

Please share your nutrition data labeling experiences below with a comment and by using social media icons.

– DataEntryOutsourced

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