Guiding Stars, an independent nutrition guidance program, has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,626,796 for its food nutrition database and operating system that is used to score and present nutrition information for food products.
It marks the second U.S. patent issued to protect the Guiding Stars system, which helps consumers identify more nutritious foods at-a-glance with a transparent, scientifically based system to evaluate the nutritional value of fresh, frozen, packaged and prepared foods. The company received patent protection for its labeling program and evaluation algorithm in the U.S. in 2011 (Patent No. 7,974,881) and in Canada in 2012 (Patent No. 2,652,379).
“This new patent award is continued validation of Guiding Stars’ unique and innovative approach toward helping consumers make more nutritious food choices,” says Jim McBride, Guiding Stars’ director of operations and co-inventor of the database system. “Helping people make sense of complicated nutrition science is our core mission, and I am sincerely grateful for the hard work of the entire Guiding Stars team for their assistance in delivering on that promise.”
The Guiding Stars system is the engine that drives the analysis of the nutritional quality of foods. With more than 100,000 US foods and 50,000 Canadian foods in its database, Guiding Stars has a comprehensive storehouse of nutrition data and rating scores.
With poor diet blamed for killing more Americans than smoking, drinking and drug use combined, lack of good nutrition has become a national health crisis. Yet, despite efforts to help shoppers make smart choices through the Nutrition Facts Label and other industry efforts, nearly 60 percent of consumers remain confused about what the labels actually mean, say industry observers.
Guiding Stars is designed to cut through the clutter with a simple, at-a-glance system for identifying nutritious choices based on independent, third-party analysis. Using the Food Finder to access the patented Guiding Stars database at www.GuidingStars.com or via the Shopper app for iPhone, consumers can view the Guiding Stars ratings and nutrition data for thousands of fresh, prepared, packaged and frozen food products.
The rating reflects the nutritional value of each food—one Guiding Star is good, two Guiding Stars is better and three Guiding Stars is best—to help consumers quickly and easily determine which foods offer a healthier choice. All items are evaluated using the previously patented algorithm based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other national evidence-based nutrition policies.