Friday, June 7, 2013

Healthy eating part of the lesson plan at Derby Middle School

Scoring system determines nutritional value

DERBY- Fat-free chocolate milk or low-fat regular?
Orange juice or apple juice?
Healthy eating is now much easier for students in the local middle school, as their cafeteria and vending machines now feature the NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System, a unique and revolutionary way of comparing the foods we eat.  

Starting Thursday, foods sold at Derby Middle School will be labeled with a “NuVal Score,” a number between 1 and 100 that determines the nutritional value of the food; the higher the NuVal Score, the better the overall nutrition.

NuVal Scores can now be found on a la carte items (such as milk, fruit, and side items such as rice and beans) and on food in all vending machines.

The Derby introduction of the NuVal system is part of the Valley Initiative to Advance Health and Learning in Schools (VITAHLS) program launched by Griffin Hospital in partnership with the Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton school districts and Emmett O’Brien Technical High School in Ansonia. 

VITAHLS is a childhood and adolescent obesity-prevention program launched in April 2011.

In addition to having the NuVal Scores help guide them to better choices, students will participate in educational programs about health and nutrition at school.  Their families will also have access to education about how to receive the best nutrition for their grocery dollars.

For students who are just learning how to make nutritional choices, NuVal offers quick and simple information to help them make the right selection.
By putting scores on food items such as Cheetos (NuVal Score 14), Scooby Doo Fruit Snacks (NuVal Score 6), Frosted Mini-Wheats (NuVal Score 36), and Tropicana OJ with calcium (NuVal Score 51), students are provided with the opportunity to make an educated decision.

Assisting with the Derby Middle School launch is grocery retailer Big Y Foods. Since launching the NuVal Scoring System throughout their stores in 2010, Big Y has been actively educating consumers throughout the state of Connecticut about using NuVal Scores to trade up their weekly groceries. Big Y Foods is looking forward to furthering the school's efforts at home.
"Offering NuVal Scores at Derby Middle School is a wonderful way to engage students and staff with their own nutrition and health. At Big Y, we're excited to continue the discussion and maintain the enthusiasm around NuVal Scores by showing families throughout the Valley how easy it is to trade up their grocery carts one food at a time" said Carrie Taylor, RD, LDN the Lead Dietitian for the Living Well Eating Smart Wellness Team.

Derby has been the first school system on the East coast to implement the NuVal system. NuVal Scores are also available at cafeterias and vending machines in Missouri, Minnesota, and Tennessee.

Funding to support the implementation of NuVal in the Derby CT School District was provided by Turn the Tide Foundation, Inc ( through the generous support of the California Walnut Board and Commission. 

About NuVal LLC:
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is a unique food labeling system which ranks all foods between 1 and 100; the higher the score, the higher the food’s overall nutrition. 
NuVal® Scores can be found in participating grocery stores, where they are posted on shelf tags next to the product price and on in-store signage. 
NuVal® Scores can be found at more than 1,600 stores nation-wide and the system itself was endorsed by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM).  A recent Harvard School of Public Health study showed that those who ate food with more favorable NuVal Scores had a lower risk of chronic disease and had a better chance of living a longer, healthier life. 
NuVal LLC is a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC and Griffin Hospital.

This post is taken from a press release from Griffin Hospital.

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