Wal-Mart stores across the nation recently introduced a unique nutritional labeling system called "Great for You," joining Guiding Stars, NuVal, ANDI score, and other non-governmental scoring programs. They all share the same goal: to create simpler labels that consumers will actually read (and hopefully make healthier selections). But the slew of different systems can actually create more confusion. Plus, there's no research to prove these labels will drive people to eat healthier.

"Are the numerical differences between one potato chip and another nutritionally meaningful?  Will you be healthier if you eat crackers with higher [nutritional] scores?  It might make a difference if you only eat foods with high scores, but in that case you don't need the system," says Marion Nestle, author and nutrition professor at New York University.

An article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that scoring systems have the potential to enhance consumer understanding of nutritional facts, but suggest a government solution stating, "A national rather than a multiple-systems approach may be best to avoid consumer confusion arising from using different conceptual frameworks."

Rather than wait for Uncle Sam, here's a basic guide to the most common nutritional rating systems and how to use them wisely:

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