Unique scoring system to guide students to more nutritious foods
Mansfield, Connecticut, February 20, 2013 – Fat-free chocolate milk or low-fat regular? Orange juice or apple juice? Healthy eating is now much easier for students in local schools, as their cafeterias now feature the NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System, a unique and revolutionary way of comparing the foods we eat.
Starting today, foods sold at the Edwin O. Smith High, Southeast Elementary and Mansfield Middle School will be labeled with a “NuVal Score,” a number between 1 and 100 that determines the nutritional value of the food; the higher the NuVal Score, the better the overall nutrition. NuVal Scores can now be found on a la carte items such as milk, fruit, and side items such as rice and beans.
In addition to having the NuVal Scores help guide them to better choices, students will participate in educational programs about health and nutrition at school. Their families will also have access to education about how to receive the best nutrition for their grocery dollars.
School officials said they hope the inclusion of NuVal Scores into their cafeterias will instill habits that can combat childhood obesity.
“Childhood obesity has become a national problem over the last couple of decades and one that every parent has worried about for their child,” said Beth Gankofskie, Co-Director of the Mansfield Food Service Department. “With the rise of Type 2 diabetes and other weight-related health issues in children, the need for better nutritional education and decision-making is crucial to combat this rising health epidemic.”
For students who are just learning how to make nutritional choices, NuVal offers quick and simple information to help them make the right selection. By putting scores on food items such as classic vegetarian beans in sauce (NuVal Score 38), Quaker Oatmeal (NuVal Score 57), baked Cheetos (NuVal Score 16), and strawberry fat-free milk (NuVal Score 52), students are provided with the opportunity to make an educated decision.
Assisting with the school launch is grocery retailer Big Y Foods. Since launching the NuVal Scoring System throughout their stores in 2010, Big Y has been actively educating consumers throughout the state of Connecticut about using NuVal Scores to trade up their weekly groceries.
"Offering NuVal Scores in the Mansfield school system is a wonderful way to engage students and staff with their own nutrition and health. At Big Y, we're excited to continue the discussion and maintain the enthusiasm around NuVal Scores by showing families how easy it is to trade up their grocery carts one food at a time," said Carrie Taylor, RD, LDN the Lead Dietitian for the Living Well Eating Smart Wellness Team.
Mansfield is the second school system in Connecticut to implement the NuVal system. In late 2012, NuVal Scores were put into Derby High School in Derby, Connecticut. NuVal Scores are also available at cafeterias and vending machines in Missouri, Minnesota, and Tennessee.
Funding to support the implementation of NuVal in the Mansfield School District was provided by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) in a grant program which aims to increase nutritional awareness in the cafeteria. The scoring system will be studied for two years and the results will be provided to the CSDE.
About NuVal LLC:
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is a unique food labeling system which ranks all foods between 1 and 100; the higher the score, the higher the food’s overall nutrition. NuVal® Scores can be found in participating grocery stores, where they are posted on shelf tags next to the product price and on in-store signage. NuVal® Scores can be found at Price Cutter, King Soopers, Tops, King Kullen, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire’s, Big Y, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Food City, United Supermarkets, Lowes Foods, Scolari’s Food and Drug, Raley’s, Robért Fresh market, Coborn’s, and Reasor’s. Visitors to nuval.com can find sample scores in a variety of categories. NuVal LLC is a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital.