Policy Research for Front of Package Nutrition Labeling: Developing and Testing a Summary System Algorithm. 1.1 Overview of the Project Approach


The overall project consisted of two parts, one was to conduct an environmental scan of consumer, producer, and retailer responses to FOP systems, and the second part was to examine nutrient criteria of summary systems and develop and test algorithms to rank the nutritional quality of foods. The results of the environmental scan are reported separately, and this report focuses on the examination of nutrient criteria of summary systems and development and testing of algorithms.

For this project, RTI reviewed summary FOP systems in the United States and abroad in terms of nutrient criteria, aspects of development of an algorithm to rate the nutritional quality of foods, and testing and validation methods. This task involved reviewing the literature regarding nutrient criteria, development, and testing of summary FOP or shelf systems.

Based on the review of literature, RTI developed three options of algorithms that could be developed or modified to test various concepts identified to be important in a nutrient profiling system. The options were presented to the ASPE/FDA team and decisions were made to develop one of the algorithms and test various modifications of the algorithm. After reviewing results of the testing of the algorithm and modifications in their ability to rank the nutritional quality of foods and predict overall dietary quality, a final algorithm was decided upon for final analyses that included creating categorical rankings from a continuous score and predicting overall dietary quality among select subpopulations.