Nutrient profiling is a means of categorising foods according to their nutrient
composition. Profiles are usually developed in the context of a public health
policy to enable classification of foods. For example, in the UK, a nutrient
profiling model is used to determine what food and drink can be advertised on
Different people have different nutritional needs, for example, small children
need less energy than adults, and pregnant women have a higher requirement for
certain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid and iron. For this reason, FDF
believes that for a nutrient profile to be effective, a clear objective must be
place throughout its development. We have developed principles which we believe
should be considered when developing a nutrient profiling model.
- it should consider all nutrients (not foods) relative to the objective, and be
based on a high standard of scientific evidence
- if designed for a defined population should be based on the average within that
population (e.g. bodyweight, activity level)
- it should consider actual consumption patterns, taking account of amounts
typically consumed and may include frequency
- it should be capable of identifying significant differences in nutrient
composition within and between foods, thereby encouraging appropriate
new product development appropriate to the objective
- it should be easy to understand and apply.
- it should avoid absolute adjectival parameters in its design or execution e.g.
'unhealthy', 'good', 'bad', etc.
Last reviewed: 28 Jun 2016