The Nutri-Score for a Healthy Diet: Pros and Cons

1UOC di Nutrizione Clinica, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy
2Dipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia Traslazionale, Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
3CEMAD – Centro Malattie Apparato Digerente, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy

ABSTRACT

Packaging labels must provide comprehensible nutritional information for consumers and represent a crucial educational tool to prevent non-communicable diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers. Since 2017, France and other European countries have adopted the 5-color Nutri-Score label. This review describes Nutri-Score and analyses the latest evidence over the last two years regarding the strengths and weaknesses of Nutri-Score. Although various recent large studies correlated the application of the Nutri-Score algorithm (the purchases of some healthy products) and the lower risk of developing chronic diseases, further studies are necessary to evaluate these relationships with a large range of products in a real-life supermarket. The validation of a unique front-packaging label model remains controversial, and to date, no consensus has been reached. Several aspects need to be improved in the algorithm, such as the consideration of the degree of processing and the presence of food additives. Probably, the combination of various front-of packages labels could be the solution. In any case, its validity should be assessed by European scientific food authorities such as EFSA with further large human studies in real-life purchase conditions.

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Publication history:

Submission date: Nov 14th, 2022
Revised on: Nov 18th, 2022
Accepted on: Nov 23rd, 2022
Published online: Dec 1st, 2022

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