Sunday, May. 02, 2010


What It Is: Another grocery store based rating system. It scores foods from 1 to 100, based on a proprietary algorithm developed by a team of nutrition and public health experts. The system divides a food's positive nutrient score by its negative nutrient score (irrespective of portion size) and arrives at a final number between 1 and 100. Foods that score higher are nutritionally better.

Pros: It allows for comparison of foods both across and within categories. Proponents say the program is unbiased, because it is developed by a team of independent experts with no ties to the food industry.

Cons: The rating system is based on a proprietary algorithm, which critics say food companies could use to make highly processed foods that still maximize their score. Since it is not mandatory, retail chains have to sign up to use it — only three chains (HyVee, Meijer and PriceChopper) have signed up so far.