Reading food and drink labels can help us make healthy choices. Food and drink labels will include information about the product, where and when it was made and a statement of ingredients, as well as any warnings or allergen statements. Most food or drink packages have a Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) which tells you the quantity of various nutrients a product contains per serve and per 100g or 100 ml. The NIP will also provide information on the serve size and the number of servings per packet.
When reading the NIP:
• always read the per 100g column to compare similar products, because the serve sizes differ between brands.
• always compare similar products, for example compare one brand of yoghurt with another brand of yoghurt.
What to look for when reading food and drink labels (per 100g)
Health Star Ratings
The Health Star Rating is a front of pack labelling scheme which can be used to make healthier food choices at a glance. The rating range is from ½ – 5 stars and the more stars, the healthier the choice.
Recommended minimum star ratings for food and drink categories
- Reading food labels can help us make healthy choices.
- Always read the per 100g column on the nutrition information panel (NIP) to compare similar products, as the serve sizes can differ between brands.
- Always compare the nutrition information panel (NIP) or health star rating of similar products, for example compare one brand of yoghurt with another brand of yoghurt.
- The more stars out of five, the healthier the product choice.
Produced by Nutrition Australia ACT Division, October 2016. Reviewed August 2021.