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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;65(3):298-306. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.269. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

Applications of nutrient profiling: potential role in diet-related chronic disease prevention and the feasibility of a core nutrient-profiling system.

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Deakin Population Health, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



A number of different nutrient-profiling models have been proposed and several applications of nutrient profiling have been identified. This paper outlines the potential role of nutrient-profiling applications in the prevention of diet-related chronic disease (DRCD), and considers the feasibility of a core nutrient-profiling system, which could be modified for purpose, to underpin the multiple potential applications in a particular country.


The 'Four 'P's of Marketing' (Product, Promotion, Place and Price) are used as a framework for identifying and for classifying potential applications of nutrient profiling. A logic pathway is then presented that can be used to gauge the potential impact of nutrient-profiling interventions on changes in behaviour, changes in diet and, ultimately, changes in DRCD outcomes. The feasibility of a core nutrient-profiling system is assessed by examining the implications of different model design decisions and their suitability to different purposes.


There is substantial scope to use nutrient profiling as part of the policies for the prevention of DRCD. A core nutrient-profiling system underpinning the various applications is likely to reduce discrepancies and minimise the confusion for regulators, manufacturers and consumers. It seems feasible that common elements, such as a standard scoring method, a core set of nutrients and food components, and defined food categories, could be incorporated as part of a core system, with additional application-specific criteria applying. However, in developing and in implementing such a system, several country-specific contextual and technical factors would need to be balanced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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