Evaluation of the Nutri-Score algorithm
Nutri-Score is a label on the packaging of food that indicates a score on the basis of the composition of this food: from dark green A to red E. The label that can already be found in shops now (on the basis of a trial of the label and through products from abroad) all too often does not match the dietary recommendations such as the Wheel of Five. This is why the way in which the Nutri-Score is calculated has been revised. The Health Council of the Netherlands has evaluated the revised calculation. The Council has established that in particular it will make it clearer which products have an unhealthy composition, and these are given a yellow, orange or red score (C, D of E). With the green scores (A and B), Nutri-Score does distinguish, but not always sufficiently, between, for example, white and wholegrain varieties of pasta and rice. In addition, more vegetable oils and soft margarines and low-fat margarines should get a green Nutri-Score, and the revised Nutri-Score system does sometimes still leave too much room for unhealthy additives such as salt and sugar.
The Council sees added value in the label, as a means of comparing products. This is particularly true for people who may be hard to reach with current nutrition information and who more often have an unhealthy diet. The label is an addition to existing nutritional information that remains very important for a complete, sustainable and safe diet. The label is not perfect, but the Council sees sufficient possibilities for further improving it. It is essential that the shortcomings are actually tackled. Furthermore, the Council believes that it is essential when introducing the label to examine the effect it has on the behaviour of consumers and producers to consider to what extent it is actually contributing to healthier diets.