The Food Standards Agency Nutrient Profiling System (FSA-NPS) constitutes the basis for the Five-Colour Nutrition Label suggested in France to be put on the front-of-pack of food products. At the individual level, a dietary index (FSA-NPS DI) has been derived and validated and corresponds to a weighted mean of all FSA-NPS scores of foods usually consumed by the individual, reflecting the nutritional quality of his/her diet. Our aim was to investigate the association between the FSA-NPS DI and cancer risk in a large cohort. This prospective study included 6435 participants to the SUpplémentation en VItamines et Minéraux AntioXydants cohort (1994-2007) who completed at least six 24 h dietary records during the first 2 years of follow-up. FSA-NPS DI was computed for each subject (higher values representing lower nutritional quality of the diet). After a median follow-up of 12·6 years, 453 incident cancers were diagnosed. Associations were characterised by multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. The FSA-NPS DI was directly associated with overall cancer risk (hazard ratio (HR)for a 1-point increment=1·08 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·15), P trend=0·02; HRQ5 v. Q1=1·34 (95 % CI 1·00, 1·81), P trend=0·03). This association tended to be more specifically observed in subjects with moderate energy intake (≤median, HRfor a 1-point increment=1·10 (95 % CI 1·01-1·20), P trend=0·03). No association was observed in subjects with higher energy intake (P trend=0·3). Results were not statistically significant for breast and prostate cancer risks. For the first time, this study investigated the prospective association between the FSA-NPS individual score and cancer risk. The results suggest that unhealthy food choices may be associated with a 34 % increase in overall cancer risk, supporting the public health relevance of developing front-of-pack nutrition labels based on this score.