Origins and Development


The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System was developed as a direct response to America’s troubling health trends: rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in both the adult and child populations.  A team of recognized medical and nutrition experts — led by Dr. David Katz of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center — advocated the development of an independent and simplified nutritional scoring system as a vehicle to improve public health.



The effort was funded by Griffin Hospital, a non-profit community hospital and teaching affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine located in Derby, CT, and home to the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center. The team worked for two years, referring to the most comprehensive science available, to develop the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI®), a patent-pending algorithm which converts complex nutritional information into a single, easy-to-use score. The ONQI algorithm is now the scientific engine behind the NuVal System, and together they are helping people make faster, easier, and better decisions about the foods they buy.



The Scientists Behind the ONQI

A team of recognized nutrition and medical experts from disciplines spanning endocrinology, dietetics, epidemiology, cardiovascular disease, weight control, and pediatric nutrition drove the development of the ONQI algorithm:


David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP * 
Chair Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center
Expertise: general nutrition; preventive medicine; public health

Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD*
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Expertise: pediatric nutrition

Leonard Epstein, MD
University of Buffalo
Inventor of the Traffic Light Diet
Expertise: traffic light food labeling; weight control

David Jenkins, MD, PhD*
University of Toronto
Inventor of the Glycemic Index
Expertise: nutritional biochemistry; diabetes; insulin metabolism; glycemic effects of food

Francine Kaufman, MD
University of Southern California
Past President of the American Diabetes Association
Expertise: pediatric endocrinology

Robert Kushner, MD
Northwestern University
Expertise: general internal medicine;
dietary counseling; weight management

Ronald Prior, PhD
Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, USDA HNRC
Expertise: nutritional biochemistry

Rebecca Reeves, PhD, RD*
Baylor College of Medicine; Past President,
American Dietetic Association
Expertise: general dietetics 

Barbara Rolls, PhD
Pennsylvania State University; Author, Volumetrics
Expertise: appetite control; weight management; satiety

Sachiko St. Jeor, PhD, RD
University of Nevada
Expertise: cardiovascular disease; general dietetics 

John Seffrin, PhD
President & CEO, American Cancer Society
Expertise: cancer prevention; public health

Walter Willett, MD, DrPH
Harvard University School of Public Health
Expertise: nutritional epidemiology

Members of the developmental panel participated in the development of the ONQI algorithm, and were compensated for their time only by Griffin Hospital. This panel was disbanded before NuVal, LLC was established, and has no ties to, nor stake in, NuVal LLC.  On-going scientific oversight is provided by the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System Scientific Advisory Board

* these former SEP members are also members of the current Scientific Advisory Board