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Nutrition Quality Labeling

An International 13 member expert scientific panel, directed by Dr. David Katz and the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center (PRC), has developed a food scoring algorithm called the Overall Nutrition Quality Index (ONQI™) as a tool for improving public health in the face of America’s troubling health trends – rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in both the adults and children, and increasing rates of heart disease in adults.  

The ONQI™ converts complex nutritional information into a single, easy to use score.   The ONQI™ scoring system allows consumers to compare the nutritional quality of foods by giving each food a "nutrition quality score" that helps consumers see – at a glance – the nutritional value of the food they buy. This will enable consumers to choose the healthiest foods in the supermarkets as well as choose healthier options among foods that are not considered healthful, chips and crackers for example.

The development of the ONQI™ was funded by Griffin Hospital, a non-profit community hospital and teaching affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.   Once the ONQI™ was developed, Griffin Hospital partnered with Topco Associates, LLC to create a joint venture company, NuVal, LLC to bring the public health benefits of the ONQI algorithm to consumers through the NuVal ™System (www.nuval.com).

The ONQI/NuVal System differs from other nutrition ranking systems in a number of ways:

  • 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. The 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.