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Guiding Stars, which bills itself as the world’s first store-wide nutrition navigation system, has joined forces with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham to roll out the nutrition-rating system in all of the school’s dining facilities.
Under the program, each prepared meal, salad bar and grab-and-go item served by UNH’s dining facilities gets a zero-to-three star rating according to its nutritional value, providing diners with an at-a-glance tool that quickly identifies the most nutritious foods. UNH Dining’s nationally recognized food program focuses on healthy eating and sustainable initiatives.
According to Misty Smalley, client services manager at Scarborough, Maine-based Guiding Stars Licensing Co., the adoption of the program “make[s] it even easier for diners to navigate the cafeteria and make nutritious choices, as well as continue[s] UNH’s mission to help students maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
“At UNH, we offer our students, faculty and staff a variety of healthy and tasty options in our dining halls, as well as guidance and information to help them make healthy choices,” added Jon Plodzik, director of dining at University of New Hampshire. “Guiding Stars is a natural fit for our dining facilities, and we hope that it will help our students and staff think more holistically about their food choices.”
Guiding Stars employs 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.
Since its initial implementation in select Hannaford grocery stores in September 2006, Guiding Stars has branched out to be featured in Hannaford’s fellow Delhaize banners Food Lion and Sweetbay Supermarket, as well as in Maine School Administrative District 75 in Topsham, Maine (making it the first nutrition navigation system in a public school), and Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.