BRAINTREE, Mass. — People who eat food with more favorable NuVal scores have a lower risk of chronic disease and have a better chance of living a longer, healthier life, according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health published in the May 2011 issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM).
NuVal's scoring system gives all food a score from 1 to 100 that is posted on store shelves; the higher the score, the higher the food's overall nutrition. The NuVal system is used by Tops Markets, King Kullen, Scolari's Food and Drug, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire's, Big Y, Skogen's Festival Foods, Food City, United Supermarkets, Mariano’s Fresh Market, and select Coborn's and Metro Market locations.
The study examines the rate of major chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease between 1986 to 2006 in more than110,000 men and women subjects. Data was collected through food frequency questionnaires, which provides detailed diet information of the participants. The study compares the health of individuals based on the ONQI (Overall Nutritional Quality Index) scores of the foods they eat. The ONQI algorithm is the engine which generates NuVal scores.
The study concluded that the average NuVal score of a diet proved to be a slightly better predictor of chronic disease risk and all-cause mortality than the Healthy Eating Index 2005, and that those who frequently ate foods that scored higher on the ONQI scale tended to live a longer life.
"To my knowledge, this is the first time a nutrition guidance system has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of major disease or premature death," said Dr. David Katz, one of the principal creators, of the NuVal system, in a statement.