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What is the eMark?
The eMark symbol is made up of a number and a colour which give information on a food’s energy density and the rate at which energy in the food is released.
eMarks can be applied to all food and focus on the nutrition of the food as a whole not individual nutrient components of the food, such as, sodium or fat.

Who has designed it and why?
The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, working with Plant & Food Research, developed the eMark to be used with all food and by all consumers to assist with food choices for healthy eating.

How does the eMark fit with other health messages about nutrition?
The eMark aims to promote the current Ministry of Health Food and Nutrition Guidelines and help show how all foods can be included in a healthy eating plan, with the ability to be adjusted to suit your individual needs. The eMark is not a health claim but it is aimed to enhance the nutrition messages and reinforce the work of other programmes such as the “Pick the Tick” and “5+ a day” symbols.

Is the eMark just another Jenny Craig/Weight watchers type scheme?
The eMark can be used to assist in weight loss but its primary function is to act as a tool to provide information to all consumers about the energy density and rate of release of energy of all foods. While these weight loss schemes also promote the concept of energy balance, the eMark differs in that it applies to all foods, no foods are labelled as good or bad and it encompasses the concept of rate of energy release as also being important.

Can e levels work for different ages, genders, body sizes, and activity levels?
The recommendations are designed to be adapted to individual needs and this can be done on the website. Click here to put together your own healthy eating plan using the eMark.

Am I still allowed ‘treats’?
The eMark does not label foods as ‘treat’ or ‘good’ or ‘bad’. All foods can be part of your healthy eating plan as long as serving size of the food and frequency of consumption are considered in line with the eMark recommendations. It is important that your food choices are matched with your lifestyle requirements.

What if all the foods I like to eat are 4e and 5e foods?
It is recommended that you minimize the number of 4e and 5e foods which you include in your healthy eating plan as these foods are high energy density foods and can lead to weight gain if eaten too regularly. Also, you may not be receiving all the required nutrients you need for a healthy body. Click here for assistance in putting together your own healthy eating plan using the e mark.

When would you recommend high energy density foods (4e and 5e foods)?
These foods have a special plan in the daily eating plan of certain individuals, such as very active children, athletes taking part in strenuous activity and malnourished older adults. It is important to make food choices which match your lifestyle requirements.

Why do I need to understand food groups?
Foods are categorised in food groups based on similar composition and the nutrients they offer. Eating a variety of foods from each of the food groups every day will help you to get all the necessary nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals required for good health.

What are the core food groups?
The core food groups provide essential nutrients for your health. The core food groups are fruit, vegetables, bread and cereals, milk, yoghurt, cheese and meat and alternatives.

Is there a key message of the eMark programme?
Eat 1 and 2, some 3’s - blue and green. The eMark food groups from 1e to 3e contain the core food groups.