New Way Of Shopping Gives Food A Score 5-26-2011 - WSMV Channel 4

New Way Of Shopping Gives Food A Score 5-26-2011

Reported by Alan Frio
NASHVILLE, Tenn.
What if you could choose the healthiest foods for your family simply by looking at a number? There's a numeric shopping system being tested in supermarkets right now that does just that, and it could change the way you shop.

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As you walk down any aisle in the supermarket, food manufacturers try to catch your eye with words such as sugar, salt and heart-healthy.
Products claim to have less sodium, no trans fats, be heart-healthy and have less sugar. Sure, you can read the label, but that's time-consuming, confusing and sometimes you don't see the offending ingredients.
Manufacturers like to tout that some of their products are free of trans fats -- a nutritional no-no -- when in reality much of that fat is disguised as partially hydrogenated oil.
That trans fat can't hide from NuVal.
"So even if it says 'zero grams of trans fat' on the nutrition label, if it's in the ingredients list, NuVal picks it up. It will lower the score," said nutritionist Amey Herald.
NuVal cuts through the maze, and it all boils down to one number next to the food product display.
"The higher the number, the more nutritious the food product," Herald said.
She said NuVal goes beyond food company claims.
"The score takes into account the ingredients and the nutritional facts panel," said Herald. "It considers over 30 nutrients and factors to the food."
Yogurt can wind up with lower scores.
"Many of the lower-scoring yogurts have added sugar and are made with higher fat milk," said Herald.
Veronica Parker is one of those shoppers who is buying by the numbers. With two daughters, some lower scoring foods are inevitable, but she said she does buy less of it.
"It's a great system, and it helps especially for someone like me who is constantly on the go," Parker said.
Mary Lou Link said the nutritional scores put her in a healthier mind set when she's shopping.
"It's getting used to it," she said. "It's changing our way. It's just changing our thinking."

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