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Know what I'm eating: Understand what labels can tell you

Take This Action Commit to this action for yourself to help overcome the obesity epidemic.

Learning how to read and understand food labels can help you make healthier choices.

Read. Then Eat.

Check the serving size.

  • One package may contain more than one serving.
  • Use the serving size information on the Nutrition Facts Panel to discover the total number of calories per package.
  • If the serving size is one cup and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories.

Consider the calories.

  • 400 or more calories per serving of a single food are high.
  • If you are watching your weight, it is smart to cut back on calories.

Choose nutrients wisely.

  • Get more fiber, calcium, vitamins A, C & D, iron, and potassium.

Check the ingredient list.

  • Foods with more than one ingredient must have an ingredient list on the label.
  • Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight.
  • Those in the largest amounts are listed first.

Don't get distracted by extra information.

  • Food claims on the front of the package can be confusing, focus on the most important part of the nutrition label - serving size and calories.
Read the Disclaimer

The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


Many Americans consume more calories than they need but still do not meet recommended intakes for a number of nutrients.