A Quick Guide to Food Labels
In a recent study, 200 patients were asked to complete a 24-item measure of food label comprehension. On average, they answered just 69 percent of the questions right.
For time-crunched shoppers, Susan Moores, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, offers the rule of five and 20: An item is considered a poor source of a nutrient if it contains 5 percent daily value or less of that nutrient (based on a 2,000-calorie diet), and an excellent source if it contains 20 percent daily value or more. Depending on whether those figures refer to sugar, say, or fiber, you'll want to adjust your intake accordingly.