Call for mandatory Health Star Ratings

Tuesday, 19 November, 2019

Call for mandatory Health Star Ratings

CHOICE research has revealed that the Health Star Rating system plays a considerable role in influencing consumer behaviour. The survey tested community perceptions of products with and without the Health Star Rating. The survey found that without Health Stars, two-thirds of people rely on marketing material to decide if something is healthy; leading to some food brands using misleading images and claims.

In response to the findings, CHOICE has reached out to Health Ministers asking that the Health Star Ratings be made compulsory for all packaged products, so consumers can make informed and healthy choices. The survey also revealed that 75% of people who used Health Star Ratings trust the system quite a lot or a great deal.

“Health Stars are important and helpful, so it’s vital we don’t let food companies game the system. That’s why Health Star calculations should be determined by public health experts, and not by food companies. CHOICE wants to see greater penalties for added sugar, which currently isn’t considered in the Health Star algorithm,” said Linda Przhedetsky, CHOICE food policy expert.

CHOICE also submitted a complaint to the ACCC about a number of sugary children’s products that are potentially misleading parents through product descriptions such as “no nasties” and “fun and nutritious”. CHOICE said a mandatory Health Star Rating system is necessary to prevent companies from employing misleading marketing tactics with products.

Updated: 22 November

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