NuVal Can Help With Hypertension: Study

Foods recommended in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet correspond with items ranked highly by the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, a study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found. NuVal gives all foods a score from 1 to 100; with the higher scores offering higher overall nutrition.

According to the study, the DASH diet uses many items with high NuVal scores, demonstrating that nutrition-ranking system can be employed as measure of overall nutrition quality.

“The promise that came with the NuVal system from the start was that people could improve their diets and health, one well-informed choice at a time,” said Dr. David Katz, director and co-founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center and one of the principal creators of NuVal. “In this study, we have the data to connect those dots -- the foods in the health-promoting DASH diet add up to a higher average score than the typical American diet. Better foods mean better diets mean better outcomes.”

Another part of the study showed that the food-buying habits of an estimated four out of five consumers could be positively influenced by NuVal scores. Following consumer tests, “roughly 80 percent of over 800 study participants indicated that [NuVal scores] would influence their purchase intent,” the study noted.

Conducted by marketing research and technology firm Affinova, the consumer tests took place in 2007 and 2008 involved 18- to 64-year-old men and women who were the main grocery shoppers for their households. The study questions related to the ONQI algorithm, which is used to calculate NuVal scores.

The study’s additional findings were as follows:

--According to the survey portion, NuVal’s 100-point scale was preferred to systems with just four tiers by a ratio of three to one

--Data from a Harvard study, which will soon be published independently, directly links NuVal scores to health outcomes, including total risk of chronic disease and all-cause mortality

NuVal scores are posted on shelf tags next to the product price and on in-store signage at Price Chopper, Hy-Vee and Meijer, and the program is debuting at United Supermarkets. The system is a joint venture formed in 2008 by Skokie, Ill.-based Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital of Derby, Conn., a nonprofit community hospital and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.
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