Nutrition Profiling Index Scores

How did we come up with the nutrition scores?
Trying to decide if a cereal is nutritious can be a challenge when there are countless brands and varieties, each with different amounts of nutrients. To add more confusion, there are many different labeling systems on cereal boxes that attempt to give you information about how nutritious the product is. Which one is right?

There are already many nutrition profiling systems being used around the world.  After thoroughly reviewing them all, we adapted a system from the Nutrition Profiling model (NP) currently used by the UK's Office of Communications (OFCOM) to identify nutritious foods that are appropriate to advertise to children on television. It provides an overall nutrition score for a product based on its total calories and mix of healthy and unhealthy ingredients (like sugar, sodium, and fiber). This model has several advantages over other scoring systems: 1) It was developed by nutrition researchers at Oxford University independent of industry funding, 2) The calculations behind the scoring system are available to the public, and 3) It is consistent with the judgment of professional nutritionists, and existing nutrition science.   

What do the scores mean?
The scores that cereals received using our model allow you to see a cereal's nutrition score relative to others, rather than simply designating it as "good" or "bad."

Since the original NP model scores are not intuitively obvious, (they range from 34 to -15, with higher scores indicating worse nutrition), we converted the scores into a simpler format. For this we used the following mathematical equation: Our Score= (-2) * NP score + 70, which produces a score from 0 (poorest nutritional quality) to 100 (highest nutritional quality) that is easy to interpret and compare. 

Other methods we used to evaluate nutrition quality.
We also looked at the sugar, fiber, saturated fat and sodium content of cereals separately to highlight any differences in individual nutrients. Additionally, we identified whether the cereals contain artificial food dyes or artificial sweeteners. 

For more detailed information, please see the Cereal FACTS Report.

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