Giant Eagle intros NuVal shelf tool to help identify better nutrition

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle this past week introduced the NuVal nutritional scoring system throughout locations in Columbus, Ohio, and Frederick, Md.

Intended to help customers make quick, informed food choices, the NuVal nutritional scoring system gives more than 20,000 food and beverages a score ranging from 1 to 100 — the higher the score, the better the nutrition. Scores are posted right on the shelf tag, along with nutritional attributes like “gluten free” and “good source of fiber.”

Customers can look for scores with the NuVal system’s trademark blue hexagons on shelf tags throughout the store. The scores are calculated for a wide variety of categories, including produce, meat, seafood, poultry, salty snacks, milk, yogurt, cereal, bread, cookies, soft drinks, canned goods and crackers, among others. NuVal scores are calculated by a formula that considers more than 30 nutrients and nutrition factors — including vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, sugar, salt, trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, all based on USDA guidelines.

The formula by which this value is determined was developed by an independent team of medical and nutrition experts led by David Katz, a nationally recognized authority on nutrition, weight control and disease prevention, Giant Eagle stated. Nutrients favorable to health are weighed against those generally considered unfavorable, the good divided by the bad. The resulting score gives an idea of any food's nutritional value at a quick glance.