The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is a food scoring system that helps you see at a glance the nutritional value of the foods you buy. Scores are displayed directly on shelf tags, scale labels, and other signage throughout Meijer so you can make quick and easy nutritional comparisons between foods.
You know that making better food choices is essential to good health, but it can be confusing and time consuming. Now NuVal, the Nutritional Scoring System is here to help.
Developed by a recognized team of nutrition and medical experts from leading health organizations and universities, the NuVal System is a food scoring system that helps consumers see - at a glance - the nutritional value of the food they buy.
How the Scoring Works
The NuVal System scores food on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the NuVal Score, the higher the nutrition. It's that simple.
Because the NuVal System applies the same nutritional criteria to all foods, you can now quickly and easily compare the nutritional value of foods not only within a category (vegetables) but also across categories (vegetables and veggie burgers).
The NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System was developed in response to America's troubling health trends - rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in both the adult and child populations - as a potential vehicle to improve public health.
Dr. David Katz, a nationally recognized authority on nutrition, weight control, and the prevention of chronic disease, established an independent team of nutrition and medical experts from leading universities and health organizations to spearhead the project. This team - which was funded by Griffin Hospital, a non-profit community hospital and teaching affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine located in Derby, CT, and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center - worked for two years to develop the ONQI algorithm that powers the NuVal System.
Backed by complex nutritional science, but designed to be easy to understand and use, the NuVal System meets the needs of frustrated consumers looking for a better way to make more informed food choices and improve the nutritional value of their diets.
How It Benefits You
The NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System helps you cut through the clutter of nutrition information so you can make informed decisions about food quickly, easily, and with confidence.
Should you buy the wheat rolls or the potato bread? Which salty snack is more nutritious for your family? These are the decisions that the NuVal System can help you make - in mere seconds - as you're walking down the supermarket aisle.
A Different Approach to Nutrition
We realize other nutrition ranking systems are being promoted in the marketplace and we believe it is important for you to understand how the NuVal System differs.
- It is truly independent. The team of recognized nutrition and medical experts that developed the ONQI™ algorithm behind the NuVal System was entirely funded by Griffin Hospital without support from manufacturers or other parties interested in promoting specific foods. Ownership and ongoing oversight of the algorithm remains in the hands of Griffin Hospital.
- It provides complete and easy-to-use nutritional guidance. The NuVal System summarizes the overall nutritional value of food into a single number. Our 1-100 scoring range enables consumers - at a glance - to see and compare the nutritional value of the foods they buy.
- It uses a robust scoring model. The NuVal System considers more than 30 different nutrients and nutrition factors - and their impact on health outcomes - to determine a food's Score, so it gives a robust and fair account of a food's true nutritional value.
- It applies to all products in a grocery store. Our goal is to score 100% of the 50,000+ products in the average grocery store - including private label products. And because the NuVal System applies the same criteria to all foods and beverages, consumers are able to compare the nutritional value of products both within and across food categories.
- It links price and nutrition. For every product on the shelf, consumers can see and compare (side by side on the same tag) exactly what they're paying for how much nutrition. This is a key benefit to consumers as the economy squeezes family budgets.
The NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System is powered by the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI™), a patent-pending algorithm for measuring the nutritional quality of foods and beverages based on the influence they have on overall dietary goals.
Developed by a team of leading nutrition, public health, and medical experts, the ONQI algorithm uses the Institute of Medicine's Dietary Reference Intakes (quantitative reference values for recommended intakes of nutrients) and the Dietary Guidelines For Americans (advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, and the Department of Agriculture, USDA, about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases) to quantify the presence of more than 30 nutrients - including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants; sugar, salt, trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. The system also incorporates measures for the quality of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as calories and omega-3 fats. The NuVal System also takes into account how these nutrients influence health based on broadly accepted, published scientific literature.
How It Works
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System takes more than 30 different nutrients and nutrition factors into account when developing a Score, making it a very robust food rating system. Boiled down to its simplest description, here is how the Nuval System works:
- Nutrients with generally favorable effects on health are placed in the numerator, where higher values increase the NuVal Score. See the numerator nutrients.
- Nutrients with generally unfavorable effects on health are placed in the denominator, where higher values decrease the NuVal Score. See the denominator nutrients.
In addition to the numerator and denominator nutrients, the NuVal System takes into account other key factors that measure the quality and density of nutrients, as well as the strength of their association with specific health conditions.
For example, trans fat has a very strong association with heart disease, a highly prevalent and serious condition. Therefore, the NuVal System assigns a "weighting coefficient" to trans fat which substantially lowers the Score of foods containing it. Those weighting coefficients are determined by the prevalence, severity, and strength of association with health conditions.
The quality of macronutrients is another key factor in the overall equation. Fat quality, protein quality, and glycemic load (a measure of carbohydrate quality) are among the "universal adjustors" that can move a NuVal Score higher or lower. The higher the quality, the higher the Score.
Foods with higher nutrient density - a significant amount of vitamins and mineral, but relatively few calories - also receive extra credit and higher Scores. The greater a food's "trajectory" toward numerator nutrients (generally favorable) and away from denominator nutrients (generally unfavorable), the greater the Score.
Numerator Nutrients: Nutrients considered to have generally favorable effects on health are placed in the numerator, where higher values increase the NuVal Score.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Total bioflavanoids
- Total carotenoids
Denominator Nutrients: Nutrients with generally unfavorable effects on health are placed in the denominator, where higher values decrease NuVal Score.
- Saturated fat
- Trans fat
The NuVal™ System is a nutrition scoring system that allows consumers to see - at a glance - the nutritional value of the foods they buy.
- It's a summary of the overall nutritional value of grocery store products.
- It provides one simple score from 1 to 100. The higher the nutritional value, the higher the NuVal™ Score. It's as simple as that.
What does the NuVal™ System do?
The NuVal™ System makes it easy to quickly see the overall nutritional values of the foods you're buying, helping you make smarter choices item by item.
Who developed it?
The NuVal™ System is based on a unique food scoring formula developed over the course of two years of research by an independent team of nutrition and medical experts from leading universities and health organizations.
The team featured experts from nutritional and medical disciplines like general nutrition, pediatrics, cardiovascular disease, epidemiology, weight management, diabetes and chronic disease prevention.
Led by Dr. David Katz of the Yale University/Griffin Hospital Prevention Research Center, the team and its work were solely funded by Griffin Hospital, independent of funding or influence by food or beverage retailers or manufacturers. Ownership and ongoing oversight of the algorithm remains in the hands of Griffin Hospital.
The team's mission was to develop a science-based formula that would give people the ability to easily see and compare the overall nutritional values of any food or beverage they were considering.
How is a score calculated?
The NuVal™ System takes into consideration more than 30 nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It accounts for how these nutrients influence health and how they relate to recommendations from USDA dietary guidelines and Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes. Some of the nutrients used to arrive at a NuVal™ Score are:
A NuVal™ Score does much more than just add up nutrients. It provides nutritional perspective. For example, fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but most Americans don't get the recommended daily amounts. So we've weighted fiber to reflect the need to add more of it to our diets.
NuVal™ Scores also take into account the amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as the quality of these important nutrients, as there are differing quality levels that we can evaluate.
How can you make NuVal™ Scores work for you?
Use the NuVal™ System as a guide when you do your grocery shopping. It's a fast, simple way to make well-informed nutritional choices.
A NuVal™ Score allows you to compare products within a food section or even across categories by giving you a simple Score of the overall nutritional value of each product. When you see a NuVal™ Score on the shelf, the higher the number you see, the higher nutritional value of that item.
The NuVal™ System is designed to help you make informed choices for a balanced approach to shopping and eating. It's not there to tell you if a food is good or bad; it just gives the score that food earned. Only you can decide what your overall nutritional needs are.
Also, don't forget to take into account the size of your portions and variety of foods you eat, as they're also important to consider in addition to using the NuVal™ System. Why don't all foods in the store have scores yet?
Because in order to do it right, it takes time to evaluate the tens of thousands of food items grocery stores carry. We're doing it right so it takes time, but expect to continue seeing more NuVal™ Scores in your aisles soon. For more information visit meijerhealthyliving.com.