Health Star Rating shake-up

The Federal Government is reportedly set to shake-up the Health Star Rating system.

CHOICE, the consumer advocacy group is behind the request for the change.

The ABC reported that CHOICE wants the algorithm to penalise food with ‘added sugars’ that are not naturally occurring.

If the algorithm was to change, it would see some food ratings drop from four out five stars, to just one-and-a-half due to the added sugars.

CHOICE policy and campaigns adviser Linda Przhedetsky said the current system was not an accurate depiction.

“Some of the findings from our work really surprised us, because we found some products could actually lose as much as two-and-a-half health stars — that’s extremely significant,” Ms Przhedetsky said.

“The system doesn’t distinguish between the extra sugar that’s added to foods like breakfast cereals, and the naturally occurring sugars in dairy or fruits.

“Health Stars are an important tool for making decisions about the food and drinks that we buy, and incorporating a penalty for added sugars will ensure that the algorithm better reflects current nutrition advice.”

This is not the first time the Health Star Rating system has been brought into question, with a report in 2017 suggesting the system was flawed and in urgent need of review.


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