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Peer Review

Understanding the Nutrition Facts Label



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Sep 20, 2008 by Health Sciences
Overview: This learning resource is a part of Dietary Manager Training offered by the University of Wisconsin Online Resource Center, "Understanding the Nutrition Facts Label." It is an interactive learning activity presented through a series of 16 Flash screens. Each part of the label is explained in straightforward, consumer-orientated language. Roll-over pop-outs both highlight label components and make the fine print easy to read. Particular attention is given to the role of fats including trans fatty acids in health, as well as some information about fiber. Also included are instructions for determining the percentage of calories from the energy nutrients and suggestions for improving diets. Self-assessments with immediate feedback and forced accuracy reinforce content.
Type of Material: This learning object is a flash-based tutorial presented in 16 slides.
Recommended Uses: This learning resource could be used as a module within a basic course on nutrition or personal wellness. It could be used for reinforcement or self-assessment by a student. It is appropriate for use in nutrition & health classes or any other instructional activity that involves reading labels.
Technical Requirements: Macromedia Flash Player Plug-In is required to view this learning resource.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Upon completion of this learning activity, the student will be able to read a nutrition facts label and
  • Determine serving size, calories and nutrients per serving
  • Relate fat data to heath conditions affected by fat;
  • Determine the percentage of total calories per serving provided by each of the energy nutrients;
  • Identify the ingredient present is greatest quantity by weight;
  • Compare the relative contributions to daily need from two or more foods with nutritional labeling;
  • (6)Give a brief history of nutritional labeling.
Target Student Population: Students from junior high school through college and learners in the community should benefit from this learning activity.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic, general knowledge of nutrition and physiology (especially the digestive track) is desirable in order to understand the significance of many of the nutrients given on a nutritional label. However, this activity includes information for both nutrition and physiology.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The content reflects the essentials of the nutrition facts panel on a food label. Sufficient information is provided to provide a high level of proficiency from using this learning resource. The author is a registered dietitian, an aspect that is important for students to check for when using nutrition resources. The learning resource:
  • Describes the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act
  • Lists the 7/9/2003 FDA trans fatty acids labeling requirement
  • Provides detailed explanations of the elements of the nutrition facts label
  • uses actual labels to demonstrate covered content topics
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Because the information in the learning activity is accurate and presented in a nicely flowing interactive flash sequence, this is a good teaching tool to accompany reading assignments. Several questions that assess ability to use info on labels are included; immediate feedback is provided with chances to try again until the correct answer is entered. Answers are forced in that the user cannot progress to the next screen until the correct answer is given. Questions sometimes ask for facts taken directly from the label and at other times require the user to derive the answer by using the label facts. The learning resource:
  • Demonstrates how to calculate % of fat in a serving of a food product
  • Provides opportunities for learner to practice using the information provided on the label to make nutritional calculations
  • Provides the learner with three opportunities to determine correct answer for quiz questions
  • Provides answers for visual identification of location of relevant label information for each quiz question
  • Reinforces learning content with quiz content
Concerns: None

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Quiz questions are part of the slide presentation. The learning resource requires only a mouse for advancing through content and quiz. Food labels are typically presented in small type. The authors have overcome this limitation by roll-over pop-out boxes that magnify different parts of the label examples Faculty who wish to cover only selected slides can assign specific slide numbers to use; numbers are clearly marked in the upper right corner of each slide.
Concerns: Some of the graphics (nutrition labels) are difficult to read.

Other Issues and Comments: Understanding the Nutrition Facts Label is one of nearly 2000 learning objects offered online by The Wisconsin Online Resource Center (WTCS). Access to the index of all learning objects is available at no charge by going to Colleges, Universities, and consortia other than WTCS must have permission to use the library of learning objects.