Health Star Ratings?
What is the Health Star Rating and how does it work?
The Health Star Rating (HSR) is a government front-of-pack labelling scheme to help shoppers compare the nutritional profile of similar packaged foods in the supermarket aisles. Health Star Ratings range from half a star up to five stars - the more stars, the healthier the choice.
How is the Health Star Rating Calculated?
The Health Star Rating is calculated using an algorithm which takes into account the energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium contents of the product and balances that against the positives of protein and fibre content. Other positive attributes like the fruit, vegetable, nut, seed and legume content are also considered as positives. Products with more stars will generally be foods with more protein and fibre and less energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium.
What are the numbers adjacent to the Health Star Rating on pack?
In addition to the star rating, manufacturers have the option of providing more nutritional information in the form of nutrients and energy per 100g. Adjacent to the star rating on Kellogg’s packs you will find five icons which display the energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium per 100g of the product plus one positive nutrient such as protein, fibre or a vitamin/mineral. It is important to note that this does not reflect what is in a serving of the product. That information can be found in the Nutrition Information Panel.
How can the Health Star Rating help my patients?
The Health Star Rating can help your patients to make informed choices about a packaged food’s nutritional qualities when out shopping in the supermarket. It allows them to compare foods within categories to help them to pick a healthier choice. It is not intended to compare foods between categories e.g. yoghurt and potato crisps.
Who developed the Health Star Rating?
The Health Star Rating system is a government-led initiative and was developed in consultation with industry and consumer groups.
You can find more information about health stars in the government website www.healthstarrating.gov.au
The Health Star Rating is a voluntary initiative. It is up to each food manufacturer whether they choose to put a Health Star Rating onto their products.