Portland, Maine (March 26, 2014)—Guiding Stars, the nation’s leading independent nutrition guidance program, today announced it has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,626,796 for its food nutrition database and operating system that is used to score and present nutrition information for food products.
It marks the second U.S. patent issued to protect the Guiding Stars system, which helps consumers identify more nutritious foods at-a-glance with a transparent, scientifically based system to evaluate the nutritional value of fresh, frozen, packaged and prepared foods. The company received patent protection for its labeling program and evaluation algorithm in the U.S. in 2011 (Patent No. 7,974,881) and in Canada in 2012 (Patent No. 2,652,379).
“This new patent award is continued validation of Guiding Stars’ unique and innovative approach toward helping consumers make more nutritious food choices,” said Jim McBride, Guiding Stars’ director of operations and co-inventor of the database system. “Helping people make sense of complicated nutrition science is our core mission, and I am sincerely grateful for the hard work of the entire Guiding Stars team for their assistance in delivering on that promise.”
The Guiding Stars system is the engine that drives the analysis of the nutritional quality of foods. With more than 100,000 US foods and 50,000 Canadian foods in its database, Guiding Stars has a comprehensive storehouse of nutrition data and rating scores.
With poor diet blamed for killing more Americans than smoking, drinking and drug use combined, lack of good nutrition has become a national health crisis. Yet, despite efforts to help shoppers make smart choices through the Nutrition Facts Label and other industry efforts, nearly 60 percent of consumers remain confused about what the labels actually mean.
Guiding Stars cuts through the clutter with a simple, at-a-glance system for identifying nutritious choices based on independent, third-party analysis. Using the Food Finder to access the patented Guiding Stars database at www.GuidingStars.com or via the Shopper app for iPhone, consumers can view the Guiding Stars ratings and nutrition data for thousands of fresh, prepared, packaged and frozen food products.
The rating reflects the nutritional value of each food—one Guiding Star is good, two Guiding Stars is better and three Guiding Stars is best—to help consumers quickly and easily determine which foods offer a healthier choice. All items are evaluated using the previously patented algorithm based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other national evidence-based nutrition policies.
Deployed as a product labeling and shelf tag program in more than 2,000 supermarkets and almost 40 food service operations, Guiding Stars is the only nutrition guidance program of its kind proven to effectively influence shoppers’ choices at the grocery store or cafeteria, encouraging them to choose healthier options over less nutritious products.
For more information about the Guiding Stars program, visit www.guidingstars.com.
About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.
Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices and has received patents in both the U.S. and Canada for its nutrition rating algorithm. The Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program is a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutrition choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars is currently found in almost 1,700 supermarkets in the U.S., including Hannaford, Food Lion, Sweetbay, Homeland, Marsh Supermarkets, B&R and Price Chopper , as well as more than 350 Loblaw, Provigo and Provigo Le Marche stores in Quebec and Ontario. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools, colleges and hospitals and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application. Additional information can be found at www.guidingstars.com.
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