"In the era of personalized medicine, it is shocking that food companies seem to think that there is a single set of 'smart choices' that is applicable across the entire population," agrees Dr. Terry Maratos-Flier, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Pharmacology companies are thinking about how to best prescribe for the individual, and the food industry is trying to find a 'one size fits all' simplistic prescription."
Another potential pitfall of the system is that it only indicates whether a product is healthy -- not whether it is unhealthy. Jacobson notes that this is another sign of industry involvement, noting, "Of course, no company would voluntarily put a black X on their unhealthy food."
But considering the country's current obesity epidemic -- which many would say can be at least partly blamed on unhealthy eating -- Jacobson admits that additional information may be good information.
"Despite my concerns, I think the system is good," he says. "It's better than nothing."