Policy Research for Front of Package Nutrition Labeling: Developing and Testing a Summary System Algorithm. 4.2.5 Ranking of Foods and Food Groups with Modified Algorithm, Adding Whole Grains (NDS5)

05/01/2011

In this algorithm, whole grains are expressed as the percentage of total grains compared with the recommendation to consume 50% of grains as whole grains. A second method of expressing whole grains was tested based on the recommendation of three servings per day of whole grains. In this section we present a summary of the scores for the former method of expressing whole grains as the percentage of total grains (Figures F-7 and F-8).

Except for increases in scores for the grain products, the mean scores and rankings of the food groupings remained similar to the original algorithm. Grain products increased from the fourth to the second highest ranking group on a per 100 kcal basis and from the eighth to the fifth ranking group on a per RACC basis. Scores for some breads increased substantially; for example, multigrain bread increased from −0.59 to 10.02 and wheat bread increased from −0.29 to 6.81 on a per 100 kcal basis. White bread decreased slightly, from −1.79 to −2.15. Granola bars increased from −4.49 to 6.32 on a per 100 kcal basis. In the original algorithm, fruit-based cereal bars had slightly higher scores than granola bars, but this was reversed with the modification because of a higher whole grain content. The score for Cheerios increased from 8.23 to 18.03 on a per 100 kcal basis. It should be noted that whole grains contribute other positive nutrients that are included in the algorithm, such as fiber and vitamin E.