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

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

It is no mystery that the habits of overeating the wrong foods and not getting enough exercise have led too many adults and children to obesity.

Some experts and government officials believe that placing key nutrient information on the front of packaged foods can make a difference by encouraging healthier food and beverage choices.

There is no question that something new and innovative is needed to help Americans make better choices -- but not everyone agrees what that should be.

Understanding the nutritional quality of foods is fundamental to making healthier choices. But it is not that simple. Multiple factors come into play when determining a food's nutritional goodness -- and they're not always on the front of the package.

Nutrition Facts Panel Often Overlooked

The Nutrition Facts panel on the back or side of packages is not being used routinely.

Consumer interest in reading the Nutrition Facts panel on the back of packages has slipped in recent years, according to market research by the NPD Group. NPD analyst Harry Blazer says in a news release, “If there is one clear message that consumers are trying to send, it’s that the label has grown tired and uninteresting."

People typically make quick choices while racing around the grocery store. The average shopper purchases 61 items in 26 minutes. That doesn't leave much time to check the Nutrition Facts panel or list of ingredients, which provide the best snapshot of the food's overall nutritional quality.

Will Symbols on the Front Inspire Healthier Choices?

In recent years, there has been an explosion of front-of-package food labeling efforts, from the failed "smart choices" label to the American Heart Association's Heart Check programs, along with shelf-marker programs such as NuVal and Guiding Stars in select grocery stores.

In general, symbols seem to help shoppers, but some symbols fail to account for total nutrition profile, says Milton Stokes, RD, owner of One Source Nutrition.

Front-of-package symbols are a step in the right direction, says author of Read It Before You Eat It, Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD. "Consumers are looking for quick answers but front of package doesn't tell the whole story -- you still need to turn over the package," she says.

Experts want one unified program with consistent messages on all labels but that will require the cooperation of all stakeholders.

Healthy Recipe Finder

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

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

Healthy Recipe Finder