Policy Research for Front of Package Nutrition Labeling: Developing and Testing a Summary System Algorithm. 4.4 A New Statistical Approach to Developing a Nutrient Density-Based Algorithm


There are some limitations to the approach taken in deciding which nutrients to include in an algorithm and which algorithm to choose as the final algorithm. We did not test every possible combination of nutrients proposed. As previously mentioned, the selection of negative nutrients to include in an algorithm is more clearly based on scientific evidence, but the selection of positive nutrients is somewhat arbitrary. We chose to test various micronutrients that were known to be consumed in less than adequate amounts in the U.S. population and should be encouraged according to the DGA. With 17 different nutrients or food components, there are 217 (131,072) possible nutrient combinations. It is difficult to assess this number of combinations, but insights can be gained from examining correlations between nutrients.