Supermarkets Hire Professionals to Provide a Nutrition Score to Groceries

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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A growing number of supermarkets are hiring companies to evaluate the foods they sell with a ranking system that will help consumers make informed decisions.  King Soopers, a division of Kroger, uses the ratings from one of the larger companies, Nuval, in all of their stores and even have hired dietitians on staff to help their consumers.  You will find the nutrition score right next to the price.

Guiding Stars is another leading company offering a ranking system that provides stars for the food, three stars signifying the best foods.  While Nuval uses a point system, where 100 is the best.  At the same time the governemnet is deciding whether they should implement this type of rating system to be displayed with calories, sat fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium on the front of packages instead of or in addition to on the back.  Currently they are evaluating the research before the next step will be taken.

Companies like Guiding Stars and Nuval feel they are making it easy for consumers to make healthy choices, but there is some debate.  Others feel we need to be guiding people away from these packaged and prcoessed foods.  Picking one potato chip bag over another won't help the rising obesity crisis.  People need to choose carrot sticks instead.

Every little change can make a difference and people are not going to give up their snacks.  Guiding Stars says that this system helps to educate them that the carrot sticks are the best choice, but when choosing between potato chips there are still some differences.  More important are foods like bread and yogurt where there is a big range and it is hard for consumers to figure out which ones is healthier, these ranking systems can help.

Sources: USA Today