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Student Internship Opportunities

Contributing to the next revision of the Choices criteria



  • The Choices International Foundation (Choices) aims to help governments and food companies to shape their nutrition strategy in order to reduce the double burden of malnutrition globally.
  • The Choices criteria are the cornerstone of the Choices way of working. The International Scientific Committee is the custodian of these criteria. The International Scientific Committee (ISC) is formed by a group of leading independent scientists in nutrition, food science and consumer behaviour. The committee is independent and autonomous. (1)
  • The Choices criteria (2) describe the healthiness of products per product group, by setting thresholds for saturated fatty acids, trans fat, sodium, sugar, energy and fiber. The criteria are determined such that approximately 20% of products in basic food groups, and 10% in non-basic food groups, comply, using large international product-specific food composition databases of the George Institute3.
  • The Choices criteria are used as input for national criteria to support national endorsement front-of-pack labelling (FOPL) programs, i.e. products that comply with these criteria may use an endorsement front-of-pack logo.
  • The Choices criteria are regularly revised (3) to cater for new developments in consumer habits, food science and product reformulation.
  • In 2021 Choices extended its logo criteria to a 5-level nutrient profiling system (NPS), which can be used for multiple purposes, not only for endorsement FOPL. (4)
  • The next revision of the Choices criteria needs to be published in 2024. There are a number of topics that need to be considered as part of this revision.
    • Further validation against indicator foods for basic food groups as is mentioned by Tognon et al. (4)
    • Validation against indicator foods for non-basic food groups as is mentioned by Tognon et al. (4)
    • Investigate whether there are (better) alternative databases available to the George Institute database and if so, what the compliance levels would be against these databases
    • Consider the classification of animal product replacements, such as milk and meat replacements as discussed by Tognon et al. (4)

Applications, including up to date CV and cover letter, should be addressed to Herbert Smorenburg at info@choicesprogramme.org.

  1. https://www.choicesprogramme.org/about-us/the-international-scientific-committee/ 
  2. Roodenburg, A., Popkin, B., & Seidell, J. (2011). Development of international criteria for a front of package food labelling system: the International Choices programme. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr., 1190-1200. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn2011101
  3. VandenAssum, S. et al. , Schilpzand, R., Lissner, L., Don, R., Nair, K., Nnam, N., . . . Roodenburg, A. (2020). Periodic Revisions of the International Choices Criteria: Process and Results. Nutrients, 2774. https://www.mdpi.com/2072- 6643/12/9/2774 
  4. Tognon, G.; Beltramo, B.; Schilpzand, R.; Lissner, L.; Roodenburg, A.J.C.; Don, R.; Nair, K.M.; Nnam, N.; Hamaker, B.; Smorenburg, H. Development of the Choices 5-Level Criteria to Support Multiple Food System Actions. Nutrients 2021, 13, 4509. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124509 
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