If you haven’t heard of the NuVal System, pay attention, because its on the rise and likely to show up at a grocery store near you soon. Its good news for all the regular people out there who are tired of trying to decipher food facts and want to declare their freedom from confusing nutrition labels. Now sit up straight, listen up, and get the scoop in this quick Nuval System Q & A to learn more about what it is, how it will help you, and what to expect when it shows up at your local store.
What is the NuVal System?
The NuVal System is creating an awareness of what’s healthy and what’s not by educating the public in the simple terms. This is done with the task of assigning some 40,000+ food products a score, ranging from 1 to 100, to communicate in quick and easy terms what is healthiest. A high score indicates a higher nutritional value. The NuVal System encourages consumers to make more informed decisions and eliminates guesswork.
Scores are calculated by a proprietary algorithmic formula (Overall Nutritional Quality Index – ONQI) that weighs the nutritional content of food by examining the presence of up to 30 nutrients, as well as the “bad stuff”, like saturated fats, sodium, and sugar.
Sample scored products include:
- Cap’n Crunch Cereal – 4
- Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal – 37
- Post Shredded Wheat Original – 91
- Ground Chuck – 26
- Chicken Wings – 28
- Lobster – 36
- Turkey Breast – 48
- Shrimp – 75
- Coconut – 24
- Iceberg Lettuce – 82
- Blueberries – 100
View and compare more scores here.
How will NuVal System help me?
You will gain a better understanding of the bottom line nutritional value of food and save time trying to break down all the numbers on nutrition labels, but it’s not just about the healthiest of foods. If you are craving a dose of junk food (hopefully in careful moderation) you will be able to compare, for example, which potato chips are best, or which has a better rating – ice cream or cookies. Even when it comes to “bad food” you will be empowered to make selections with the highest rating.
Who is the program run by?
The System was created by Dr. David Katz (a leading authority on nutrition and weight management who co-founded and directs the Yale Prevention Research Center) and his 12 member panel comprised of nutrition and medical experts. This group is NuVal LLC, who brings the program to the market in concert with a Yale University School of Medicine affiliate, among other partners.
When will I see NuVal scoring at my grocery store?
The program made its 2008 debut in two U.S. grocery chains (Price Chopper and Hy-Vee) and is set to roll out nationwide beginning in fall 2009. NuVal’s goal is to score 40,000+ products typically found in most grocery stores. The scores will be posted on shelf tags and store signs. There will also be informational brochures available and store employees trained to answer questions.
Scoring will be rolled out in waves according to product category, such as fruits & veggies first, then canned foods, followed by cereals, then meats, etc.
Will NuVal revolutionize the way we view nutrition?
That can’t be said for sure until it’s proven in the market, but our friends across the pond in the U.K. aren’t as optimistic because of NuVal’s perceived flaws.
What do you think of NuVal? The question that comes to my mind is how foods containing Splenda or Aspartame will be scored. Yes, the sugar content is low in these foods, but it’s at the expense of sugar substitutes that cause tumors in lab rats or have other toxic effects on our bodies. Could any of those foods justifiably receive a high score? (and if you’re eating foods containing Splenda or Aspartame, why?)
Visit the NuVal website.