A food rating system that analyzes both nutrition and cost value, the first of its kind, was introduced at the American Dietetic Association's Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo by University of Washington professor Adam Drewnowski, reports Supermarket News.
Drewnowski's Affordable Nutrition Index (ANI) creates a nutrition-value-per-dollar score. Carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli top the ANI scale, while oranges and bananas are the top-scoring fruits in the index. Vegetable soups are also among the most affordable, nutritious foods.
Guided by recommendations in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, ANI calculates a food score based on nine nutrients to encourage including: protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E, and three nutrients to limit: saturated fat, added sugars and sodium.
Price data was gathered from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion 2001-2002 database, a 2008 survey of Seattle supermarkets and soup prices from Campbell Soup Co., which also supported the research."The obesity epidemic in this country has the potential to get even worse if people are unable to find nutritious choices they can afford and that also fit with their lifestyle," said Drewnowski, in a statement. "I'm hoping the Dietary Guidelines set to be released in 2010 will include the importance of affordable nutrition in its recommendations."