BRAINTREE, Mass., Jan. 19 The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), a leading organization of some of the country's top physicians committed to preventing disease and promoting health, has officially endorsed the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System as an easy and effective way to help consumers learn about the foods they buy.
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NuVal gives all foods a score from 1 to 100; the higher the score, the higher the food's overall nutrition. All NuVal scores are provided on the supermarket shelf, making it easy for consumers to compare the overall nutrition of the foods they buy at a glance.
"ACPM supports evidence-based and meaningful nutrition labeling that can guide consumers to healthier eating," said ACPM President Mark B. Johnson, MD, MPH, FACPM. "ACPM has reviewed the NuVal nutritional rating system and found that it meets the ACPM criteria for support."
Johnson noted that with the rising rates of obesity and diabetes, NuVal could be helpful in guiding people to the most nutritious food in a supermarket. "We believe that arming consumers with easy-to-understand, at-a-glance information about the nutritional quality of the food they purchase, at the point of purchase, can have a significant impact on changing their eating behaviors," Johnson said. Johnson added that ACPM received no financial compensation for its endorsement, which was purely merit based.
This marks the first time an independent medical/public health organization with national stature has endorsed a non-federal nutrition guidance system, said Dr. David Katz, director and co-founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center and one of the principal inventors behind the NuVal system.
"When we created NuVal, our primary goal was to address the public health crisis related to food choices, including obesity and diabetes, with a simple solution that was accessible to everyone," Dr. Katz said. "We feel we have created that in NuVal and are delighted to gain the acceptance of an organization that shares our passion for health promotion."
An emerging player in the growing "food ranking" industry, NuVal is currently in use in more than 525 supermarkets in 18 states. The system is on the shelves of all Price Chopper, Hy-Vee and Meijer supermarkets, and will be on the shelves of United Supermarkets in March. The system is based on a complex algorithm that takes more than 30 different nutrients into account when developing a Score. The system itself was created by Dr. Katz and a team of a dozen health and nutrition experts over a two-year period.
"It's our sophisticated simplicity that keeps NuVal essential and accessible at the same time," said NuVal President Nancy McDermott. "We're both grateful and proud to receive the backing of the ACPM, which validates the hard work we do at NuVal every day to give guidance through the grocery store and help consumers find the best foods."
The ACPM endorsement comes in the wake of a new study from Harvard which links NuVal's scores to health outcomes. In short, the study demonstrated that the more someone filled their diets with high scoring items, the less likely they were to encounter ailments such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
ACPM President Johnson said that while there is a growing number of food ranking systems available to retailers and consumers, they chose to endorse NuVal because it was developed without influence from food manufacturers, met ACPM's standards for scientific rigor, applies to all foods, and demonstrated an ability to positively influence consumers' purchasing habits.
"Because of NuVal's independence from food manufacturers, for its objectivity, for its basis in health outcomes, we are glad to endorse the system," Johnson said. "The system's independence earns trust, and its scientific basis and pedigree have earned its reliability."
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is powered by the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI(TM)), a patent-pending algorithm for measuring the nutritional quality of foods and beverages. Developed by an independent team of top nutrition and public health experts, the NuVal System scores foods and beverages based on more than 30 different nutrients and nutrition factors - everything from fiber and vitamins to fat and sodium. Visitors to the NuVal website (www.nuval.com) can find sample scores in a variety of categories. The ONQI algorithm was created independent of financing and influence from food and beverage manufacturers.
NuVal Scores can be found in participating grocery stores, where they are posted on shelf tags next to the product price and on in-store signage. NuVal is currently used in Price Chopper, Hy-Vee and Meijer Supermarkets, and will soon be seen in United Supermarkets. NuVal is a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital of Derby, Conn., a non-profit community hospital and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.
Retailers interested in learning more about the NuVal System can contact NuVal LLC at partners@NuVal.com or (781) 228-5800.
About the American College of Preventive Medicine
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) is the national professional society for physicians committed to disease prevention and health promotion. ACPM was established in 1954. Its 2,400 members are engaged in preventive medicine practice, teaching and research. Specialists in preventive medicine are uniquely trained in both clinical medicine and public health. They have the skills needed to understand and reduce the risks of disease, disability and death in individuals and in population groups. To learn more about the College, visit http://www.acpm.org/.