Tops Friendly Markets has announced that the company is encouraging its customers to celebrate National Nutrition Month with the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, a unique food ranking system found at Tops stores that helps consumers find the best nutrition on supermarket shelves. Launched as National Nutrition Week in 1973 and "promoted" to National Nutrition Month in 1980, the March event was created by the American Dietetic Association to encourage better eating habits.
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is part of Tops Markets' goal to give customers everything they need to get healthy, stay healthy and live healthy - all in a one-stop shopping trip. NuVal gives more than 20,000 edible products found on Tops' shelves a score from 1 to 100; the higher the score, the better the food's overall nutrition. All NuVal scores are provided on Tops' shelves, making it easy for consumers to compare the overall nutrition of the foods they buy at a glance.
NuVal scores are determined using an algorithm that looks at more than 30 food factors and ingredients (such as levels of sugar, sodium and fiber). The system was created by Dr. David Katz of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and a dozen experts in the fields of diet and nutrition.
Using the NuVal system, Tops customers can:
•Easily discover the more nutritious products in a store. Consumers wanting to know what cereals (or crackers or cookies) have more nutrition only need to take a look at the NuVal scores and choose the product with the higher number.
•Get more nutrition for their budget, as they can now compare items side-to-side and determine which product offers the better value, not just in price, but in nutrition as well. For instance, consumers may find that some varieties of frozen or canned vegetables score the same as fresh produce on the NuVal scale.
•Be able to better compare name brand to store brand products. In many instances, consumers will learn that Tops private label item is just as nutritious as a national one.
Tops also recognizes the need to educate its new generation of younger shoppers about making better nutritional choices. According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the current generation of children will be the first in America to have a shorter life span than their parents' generation largely due to obesity-related to diseases. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of obese kids ages 5-17 have one risk factor for cardiovascular disease and 39 percent have two or more risk factors. Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and asthma are all on the rise as the rate of obesity increases in kids and adolescents.
In an effort to better educate school-aged children about making better nutritional choices, Tops is making a long-term commitment to the health of its communities by offering ongoing outreach efforts in public and private schools throughout Erie and Niagara Counties. Targeting children in grades K-8, Tops' community outreach coordinator, Lindsey Zaffarano presents to students about healthy living and how to use the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System in Tops stores. The interactive presentation includes games, challenges and prizes to encourage students to get involved and have fun while learning about the benefits of making better nutritional decisions and increasing their level of physical activity.
For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at www.topsmarkets.com.
Retailers interested in learning more about the NuVal System can contact NuVal LLC at [email protected] or 781-228-5800.