The science team at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science Policy is a new tool to help consumers, food companies, restaurants and cafeterias select and produce healthier foods and staff and develop sound public nutrition policies. Was developed.
Food Compass is a new nutrient profiling system developed over three years that incorporates state-of-the-art science on how different properties of food can have a positive or negative impact on health.Important new features of the system, reported on October 14th Nature food, include:
- Equally consider healthy and harmful factors in food (many existing systems focus on harmful factors).
- Incorporating cutting-edge science on nutrients food Ingredients, processing properties, phytochemicals, and additives (existing systems focus primarily on a few nutrients);
- Use one consistent score to objectively score all foods, beverages, and even mixed dishes and meals (existing systems subjectively group and score foods).
“Eat vegetables and avoid soda,” said the public at the top of the study, “the general public is quite confused about how to identify healthier options in grocery stores, cafeterias, and restaurants.” Said the dean of the author, Dariush Mozaffarian. Friedman School. “Consumers, policy makers, and even the industry are looking for simple tools to guide everyone to healthier choices.”
A new food compass system was developed and tested using a detailed national database of 8,032 foods and beverages consumed by Americans. It scores 54 different characteristics across nine domains representing different health-related aspects of food, beverage and mixed diets, providing one of the world’s most comprehensive nutrient profiling systems. Characteristics and domains were selected based on nutritional attributes associated with major chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and the risk of malnutrition, especially in mothers, infants and the elderly.
Food Compass was designed to evolve additional attributes and scores based on future evidence in areas such as gastrointestinal health, immune function, brain health, bone health, physical and mental performance. .. Not only sustainability considerations.
The potential uses of the food compass are:
- Promote the development of the food industry Healthier food Remix the ingredients of popular processed foods and snacks.
- Provide employees with incentives to buy food through workplace health, health care, and nutrition support programs.
- Provides science for regional and national policies such as packaging labeling, taxation, warning labels, and marketing restrictions for children.
- Allow restaurants, schools, businesses and hospital cafeterias to offer healthier food options.
- Agricultural Trade Policy Notice;
- Guidance for institutional and individual investors on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) Investment decision..
Each food, beverage, or mixed dish receives a final food compass score in the range of 1 (the healthiest) to 100 (the healthiest). Researchers have identified over 70 as a reasonable score for foods or beverages that should be encouraged. 31-69 points of food and drink should be taken in moderation. Those with a score of 30 or less should be consumed to a minimum.
The average food compass score for all major food categories was 43.2.
- The categories with the lowest scores were snacks and sweet desserts (average score 16.4).
- The categories with the highest scores were vegetables (average score 69.1), fruits (average score 73.9, almost all raw fruits 100 points), legumes, nuts and seeds (average score 78.6).
- Beverages average scores ranged from 27.6 for sugar-sweetened sodas and energy drinks to 67 for 100% fruit or vegetable juices.
- Starch vegetables scored an average of 43.2 points.
- The average beef score was 24.9. For poultry, 42.67; 67.0 for seafood.
Food Compass is the first major nutrient profiling system to use consistent scoring across diverse food groups, which is especially important for mixed foods. For pizza, for example, many other systems have separate scoring algorithms for wheat, meat, and cheese, but not the finished product itself. Consistent scoring of different items helps you evaluate and compare food and beverage combinations that can be sold and consumed together, such as the entire shopping cart, individual daily dietary patterns, and portfolios of foods sold by a particular company. Is also useful.
“Food Compass can use publicly available scoring algorithms to provide a subtle approach to facilitating healthy food choices: consumer behavior, nutrition policy, scientific research, It helps guide food industry practices and society-based investment decisions, “said the last author, Renata Michael. I did this job as a teacher at Friedman School and am currently at Tessary University.
Additional authors are Naglaa H. El-Abbadi, Meghan O’Hearn, Josh Marino, William A. Masters, Paul Jacques, Pelin Shi, and Jeffrey B. Blumberg of Friedman School.
Food Compass is a nutrient profiling system with extended properties for assessing food health. Nature food (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s43016-021-00381-y
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