National Nutrition Month

March 23, 2013 6:04:49 AM PDT
March is National Nutrition Month, and this year's theme is, Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.

Of course, food labels can guide us, but do you know what the info on them means? Melissa Dobbins MS, RDN and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, came into our ABC7 studio to dispel food label misconceptions.

Melissa 's Tips:

Serving Sizes

All the nutrition facts on the label correspond to that serving size.

Your portion of food may be more than one serving listed on the label, and some individually packaged items are more than one serving.

1. Key Nutrients

Your specific health needs or goals will determine what nutrients you should pay more attention to.

If weight control is your goal, then "total calories" are most important; if heart health is your goal, "saturated fat" is important; if you have diabetes, "total carbohydrate" is important.

Multiply the amounts of nutrients by the number of servings.

2. Health and Nutrient Claims

Check the nutrition facts panel to get the full story.

If a nutrient is listed as 5 percent or less of the daily value (DV), it is low in that nutrient.

If it is listed as 20 percent or more of the DV, it is high in that nutrient.

To find a registered dietitian near you: To learn how a dietitian can help: You can follow Melissa on Twitter @MelissaJoyRD and find out more about her at

Chicago Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Heroes Kids Event

Saturday, March 23
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Lawndale Christian Health Center
3750 W. Ogden Ave.