Nutrient profiling (NP) models are useful for characterizing the healthfulness of foods, and for underpinning various nutrition-related public health strategies. Recently, there has been a rapid increase in the number of NP models developed by different organizations worldwide. A systematic review (SR) summarizing the key characteristics of NP models with applications in government-led nutrition policies was carried out in 2016 and published by Labonté et al. (Adv Nutr, 2018). Given the continuous proliferation of NP models, the current study aimed to update this SR. Systematic searches were performed in databases of both the peer-reviewed (n=7) and grey (n=1) literature, to identify publications related to NP published between May 2016 and September 2020. The full text of relevant publications was assessed independently by two reviewers to build a list of potential models. Each model was classified as “already identified in the original SR” or as “newly identified”. The eligibility of the “newly identified” models, and of some models excluded from the previous SR because their details were not known at that time, were then assessed independently by two reviewers based on pre-established criteria. A total of 151 potential NP models were assessed for eligibility, of which 93 were “newly identified”, 28 were originally excluded from the previous SR, and 30 were identified from additional online searches during the eligibility assessment stage. Twenty-six models met the inclusion criteria. Their most frequent applications were food labeling (n=17) and regulation of food marketing to children (n=7). They all included nutrients to limit, with sodium, saturated fat and total sugars being the most frequently considered. Content or face validity testing was conducted for 11 (42%) of the included models. As NP models are increasingly used worldwide to support public health strategies, having an up-to-date resource listing them and detailing their characteristics is crucial. PROSPERO #CRD42021259041.
Author(s): Martin, C., Turcotte, M., Cauchon, J., et al.
Published in: Advances in Nutrition