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Employees of IDEXX Laboratories will find it easier to make healthier choices with the rollout of nutrition navigation system “Guiding Stars” in the company’s corporate cafeteria.
Under the system, many prepared meals and grab-and-go items offered in the cafeteria will get a zero-to-three star rating according to their nutritional value, so diners will be able to quickly identify the most nutritious selections.
“We know how important healthy eating is to overall wellness, said Kim Cassella, cafeteria services manager at Westbrook, Maine-based IDDEX, a provider of diagnostic and information technology-based products and services for veterinarians, as well as developing livestock and poultry diagnostic tests, and tests for the quality and safety of water and milk. “With the Guiding Stars simple-to-follow star-rating system, our employees will be able to choose foods that provide them with the most nutrition and support a healthy lifestyle.”
Employing a proprietary algorithm grounded in evidence-based science and the most current guidelines and recommendations of national and international health organizations such as the FDA and USDA Guiding Stars credits all edible foods based on the presence of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, and debits for the presence of trans fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and added sodium. Foods then receive ratings of zero, one, two or three stars, with one star meaning good nutritional value; two stars, better nutritional value; and three stars, the best nutritional value.
“[H]ealthy eating habits can lead to reduced stress, better moods and better productivity in the workplace,” noted Jim McBride, director of operations at Scarborough, Maine-based Guiding Stars Licensing Co. “This partnership will help IDEXX employees navigate the cafeteria, and give them the resources they need to take charge of a healthier lifestyle.”
Debuting in September 2006, Guiding Stars first appeared in select grocery stores operating under Delhaize America's Hannaford banner. The program is now on shelf tags and signage in more than 1,600 supermarkets throughout the Northeast, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Florida, and has also expanded to public schools, universities and hospitals. Additionally, the program appears in a Shopper mobile iPhone application and is featured in an online search engine, Food Finder.