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Understanding Food Labels

Understanding Food Labels

Learn how to interpret food labels so you can make informed food choices and buy food that supports your health and wellbeing.

Get the facts you need to put your trust in the food system. Huge amounts of information are provided on food product labels, but surveys have shown that we’re often unsure of its meaning.

On this course, you’ll learn how to make sense of the regulations, data, and logos on packaging so that you can make more informed food choices. You’ll become more aware of what’s in the food you’re buying, the reference intakes for different people, and the nutritional value and environmental sustainability of different foods. You’ll also gain a better understanding of food labelling regulations, as well as the claims food producers are allowed to make.

Who should join the course

This course is designed for anyone who makes food purchasing choices and wants to learn more about what goes into their food, the health benefits of what they eat and the sustainability of how it’s produced.

Timeline of the programme

The course will have multiple runs in 2020 and 2021.  

Learning objectives and outcomes

Once completed, participants will be able to:

  • Interpret a typical food label - be familiar with the categories of information labels contain and why they are important.
  • Explore ingredients lists and discover your recommended daily allowances.
  • Compare trustworthy health claims and those inspired by marketeers.
  • Collect reliable information to base your buying decisions on.
  • Assess the complexities of labelling food according to production values such as sustainability and animal welfare.
  • Reflect on the limitations of food labels - what they don't tell you.

How to join the course 

This course is available on FutureLearn:


The following partners are involved in the project

Aarhus University

Project Lead

Simona Grasso

University of Reading

Contact details

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