Nutrient Profiling Consultation Launched in UK

The Agency is today launching a formal 12-week consultation on its research to develop a scheme to categorise foods based on the nutrients they contain.

The outcome of the nutrient profiles research could help underpin some of the signposting options.
It could also be used more widely. For example, it could help identify healthier options for use in school vending machines and tackle the current imbalance in TV advertising aimed at children.

The research was led by a team from the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at Oxford University.

It was overseen by an expert group, comprising nutrition scientists, dieticians, food industry and consumer organisation representatives, and policymakers.

The project has developed an approach for children aged 11-15 based on the balance of selected micro and macro nutrients in individual foods, and which takes account of the positive contribution to the diet of foods such as cheese and dried fruit, as well as their fat, salt and sugar content.

However, they are likely to be applicable to other age groups, and work extending the principle in this way is in hand.

The consultation runs until 25 February 2005.

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