Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Meeting Dietary Recommendations Could Add 10% to the Average American’s Grocery Bill

Aug. 4, 2011 -- Prepare to part with more money if you’re trying to make healthier food choices.

A new analysis shows healthy eating can really run up a grocery bill, making it tough for Americans on tight budgets to meet nutritional guidelines.

“We’ve known for a long time that fruits and vegetables were more expensive in this country than junk food, but this really quantifies how much it would take to have a healthy diet, and it’s a lot of money for a low-income family,” says Hilary Seligman, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

The study estimates that getting the average American to the recommended target of just one nutrient, potassium, would cost an additional $380 each year.

“That’s enormous, and it’s money that people in this economy really don’t have,” says Seligman, who studies food insecurity but was not involved in the research.

Putting Dollars to Doughnuts, and Other Foods

New dietary guidelines announced last year challenged Americans to eat less sugar and saturated fat and more vitamin D, calcium, dietary fiber, and potassium, which is present in high amounts in fruits, vegetables, and beans.

Researchers at the University of Washington wanted to see how much it would cost to meet those recommendations.

They surveyed 1,123 adults in the Seattle area, asking questions about age, household income, and education level. Study participants also filled out questionnaires detailing their eating habits.

Researchers then tallied how many calories and nutrients people were getting from their diets, and using local retail food prices, they figured out how much people were spending for what they ate.

People who spent the least amount on their food, an average of $6.77 a day, were also the furthest from hitting the government’s daily guidelines of 3,500 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of daily fiber, 10 micrograms of vitamin D, and 1,000 milligrams of calcium. On average, they were getting around 2,391 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of fiber, 5 micrograms of vitamin D, and 854 milligrams of calcium.

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...