How do potato chips look healthier than olive oil? † Stories behind the news

How do potato chips look healthier than olive oil?  † Stories behind the news

Nutri-Score is currently still in development, but you may have seen the logo already. He is already running a Nutri-Score pilot in a number of supermarkets. These demos serve as research and preparation for the introduction of the logo that should provide the products with a health indicator. Scores on this logo range from A to E: green A is the healthiest choice and red is the least healthy.

based on what?

But what is Nutri-Score based on? Gerda Pheonix, Director of The Nutrition Center, is an expert on the relationship between food and consumer behavior. “Nutri-Score can help people see faster and easier the healthy choice within a product group. The score depends on the composition and nutrients of the products: positive ingredients are, for example, proteins, vegetables and fiber. These raise the score, while negative ingredients like sugar and salt.” And saturated fats reduce the result.”

Why would the Department of Health, Welfare and Sport want to introduce Nutri-Score? Robin van Dorsen, spokesperson for the ministry: “This is stated in the 2018 Prevention Convention. To help people make a healthy choice, a lot needs to be done, and Nutri-Score is one way to contribute to the health of people.” Nutri-Score is an international system: it works Different countries have the same algorithm. Van Dorsen: “We had a similar system in the Netherlands, like the check mark, but it didn’t work well. So, other systems were investigated. The Nutri score was better understood by consumers in the surveys and that was the deciding factor for us. That’s why In that we want to introduce it in the Netherlands, and supermarkets are already allowed to make pilots in them.”

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Feunekes notes that Nutri-Score is currently not working optimally because the scoring form behind it is not yet in line with Dutch dietary guidelines. “The result does not indicate whether the same product is healthy, but whether it is healthy compared to the same type of product. For example, on the cookie shelf there are cookies with a lot of sugar as well as healthy cookies with fiber and little The first cookies might get a C or D, while the healthier option might get a B or A. But cookies still aren’t in the wheel of the five. So a box of cookies with an A mark isn’t as healthy as A piece of vegetable marked A. Nutri-Score is not made to compare products from different groups. Olive oil often gets a grade of C or D according to the Nutri criteria, while it is a product belonging to the wheel of the five. This makes the result confusing to the consumer. That is The reason is that it is a good idea for an international scientific committee to improve the registration form.”

So consumers can experience potato chips with a C grade and 30+ cheese with a D, while cheese is in the wheel of the five. Van Dorssen: “Nutri-Score helps consumers compare products from the same group of products, but the system is not intended to compare different product groups. So, for example, you compare chips with other types of chips. We call similar products a food category, But it is not defined anywhere.When a Nutri-Score is introduced, consumers will be clearly informed. The risk of consumer confusion will be limited by the limited size of the pilots we run.Moreover, we assume that the Nutri-Score will receive full attention only if supermarkets start Companies and the government are communicating about it widely.”

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disc five

It’s clear to Feunekes what to do with Nutri-Score. “On social media, we see people passing by and really finding the results on certain products confusing. By making the scoring form more in line with dietary guidelines, we hope that confusion is cleared up. Wheel of Five contains only healthy foods. Nutri-Score sometimes contains A or B on the packaging for unhealthy products, for example due to the addition of extra protein.Then it may seem like a healthy choice to the consumer, but this is not always the case.Because adding extra protein to an unhealthy product doesn’t suddenly make it healthy.Choose products in the wheel of five “.


Van Dorssen also sees the potential confusion involved in the Nutri-Score. “The Nutri score says something about the product as it does in the supermarket and does not take into account the method of preparation. For example, french fries can have a good result, when of course it is not a healthy product after being prepared with oil. There are differences between the results of Nutri- Score and the wheel of five. This is why we are still in discussions with the scientific committee behind the algorithm. We are looking into whether we can align it better with the dietary guidelines we have in the Netherlands. We expect a result soon. Then we will make a final decision and the Nutri-Score will be introduced. Of course, there will also be a big information campaign explaining how you can benefit from the Nutri result while shopping in a healthy way.”

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