Policy Research for Front of Package Nutrition Labeling: Developing and Testing a Summary System Algorithm. 2.6.4 Discrimination between Foods

05/01/2011

Threshold systems do allow for discrimination between foods with different nutrient content. Multiple thresholds can be used; for example, Guiding Stars awards one, two, or three stars based on ranges of nutrient criteria. However, the range between threshold values may be too large for fine distinctions. For example, if a rating allows for fat to be between 5 and 20 g, and two foods are being compared that contain 6 and 18 g of fat each, the system will rate the two foods equally. Systems that provide an overall score to foods are sensitive to small differences between foods, although the reason for the difference in scores is not apparent to the consumer.