Choosing more nutritious food items will be a little easier on campus this fall.
U-M community members will start seeing a colorful, five-sliced citrus icon on campus vending machines and at eateries. The more slices that are filled in, the more nutritious the item.
MHealthy and its university partners created the icon to help show the nutrient density of select foods and beverages. Nutrient-dense foods include more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains and fiber. They also have less saturated fats, added sugars and sodium.
A list of food items, along with how many “slices” each item has received, is available on the MHealthy website.
“Many foods are not simply ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Instead, they tend to fall along a spectrum of healthfulness,” said Erica Owen, MHealthy’s nutrition program manager and a registered dietitian. “This information will help you make more informed food choices when dining at U-M.”
The new labeling system was developed using benchmarking data, current literature, community feedback and intuitive eating principles.
MHealthy also has updated its nutrition guidelines to better help individuals improve their nutritional intake. Changes include updated guidelines related to sodium, added sugar and saturated fats. This update is in step with the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released by the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services and of Agriculture.
The food labeling system and nutrition guidelines were created in partnership with Michigan Medicine Retail Food Services, School of Public Health Nutrition Services, Michigan Dining, MHealthy, Michigan Medicine Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Michigan Medicine Patient Food & Nutrition Services, and Michigan Medicine Preventive Cardiology.
Now if only they would label with pricing. It’s like a surprise going to the register, how much will my salad be today?!