Health and food ministers will meet in early December to discuss Health Star Rating - a front-of-pack nutrition labelling system that will help you make healthier food choices. They've already agreed to the system, but some powerful food companies are trying to backtrack and stick with their confusing 'percentage daily intake' (%DI) guides.
We need to let the ministers know you support the star system – as agreed, with no changes.
CHOICE and the Cancer Council have long campaigned for effective front-of-pack labelling, so that when you’re in a rush, you can make healthy food choices quickly and easily.
For many years, we supported the traffic light labelling system, because consumers told us they couldn’t understand the food industry’s confusing percentage daily intake scheme and differing serving sizes.
So when health and food ministers asked us last year to work with government and industry to develop an alternative system, we jumped at the chance.
The resulting Health Star Rating proposal is great. Based on plenty of consumer research and sound science, it tells you, at a glance, how healthy the product is. The more stars, the healthier the food.
The amount of energy, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium (salt) is published on the front label, for those of us who need a bit more detail. Instead of using inconsistent and unrealistic ‘serving sizes’ and %DI, these nutrients are declared per 100g/mL, or for the whole package if it’s meant to be eaten in one go. There's no recommended daily intake for saturated fat, sugar or sodium (salt) that applies to everyone, so chances are the %DI on the pack won’t apply to you.
Health authorities have set nutritional upper limits that are unsafe to approach or exceed regularly. The new system includes daily intake for kilojoules (8700kJ) because many consumers are now familiar with this, having seen it in fast food chains.
But some in the food industry are reluctant to support the system they helped develop. Not only do they want to get serving sizes back in, they want to roll out their dodgy daily intake percentages across all nutrients.
CHOICE and the Cancer Council have joined forces to let you know what’s going on, and ask for your support to get the unamended Health Star Rating system onto products and into supermarkets so that it can be most beneficial to you and your family.
If you want effective nutrition labelling on food, help CHOICE and the Cancer Council today by signing up as a campaign supporter. We are calling for food and health ministers to be a health star and continue supporting the Health Star Rating system – as agreed, with no changes.