Health Star Ratings – What Do They Mean To You?
You may have heard of the new Health Star Rating guide, but what does this mean to you? We’ve answered a few questions we thought might be helpful:
What is the Health Star Rating?,
The Health Star Rating is a government led initiative that scores the nutritional value of packaged foods. It is designed to help you compare foods so that you can make healthier choices when you shop.
The Health Star Rating is from 1/2 star to five stars. The more stars, the healthier the product. Simple!
How are the Health Stars calculated?
Each product’s Health Star Rating is determined using a calculation based on its food components – energy, saturated fat, total sugars, sodium, protein and dietary fibre; as well as fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content of the product.
The quantities of these components determines the number of stars for the product.
Who developed the Health Star Ratings?
The Health Star Ratings scheme is a voluntary front of pack labelling initiative developed by the government jointly with food companies, consumer groups and non-government organisations. Food companies are encouraged to participate but it is not mandatory.
Do the Health Star Ratings apply for all foods?
The Health Star Ratings apply for most foods. Foods that are exempt are infant nutrition products, catering products, foods for special medical purposes and single ingredient foods, such as coffee, as they are not intended to be consumed alone.
What about confectionery?
Nestlé confectionery will have the Energy %DI icon next to the Be Treatwise message on front of pack as part of the Confectionery Manufacturers Industry group agreement.
Will Nestlé still use the %DI guide?
Yes, the %DI values will continue to be in the nutrition information panel on the back of the pack. The %DI icons provide different information to the Health Star Ratings.
The %DI icons that are currently on pack are based on daily intakes (DI) which are a set of reference values for acceptable intakes of energy and a variety of nutrients, including protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, fibre and sodium.
The percentage of the daily allowance of the energy or nutrient is calculated based on a serving of the food and expressed in the icon per serving.
DI values are based on an average adult’s daily requirement of 8700kJ. Your DI may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.
How can I use the Health Star Ratings when shopping?
Health Star Ratings are a quick and simple way to compare the nutritional value of similar foods without having to spend extra time reading labels. You can find the healthier choice by simply comparing the overall Health Star Ratings and choose the product with the most stars.
When will I start seeing Health Star Ratings on Nestlé products?
It takes a little time to change packaging but you’ll soon start seeing Health Star Ratings on our products on shelf at the end of 2014 with more in 2015.
The Health Star Ratings further complement our commitment to Portion Guidance, which included the launch of our on-pack Portion Guidance Device earlier this year to help consumers understand an appropriate potion of a particular food – click here to read more about the Portion Guidance Device.
We welcome the Health Star Rating Scheme as part of our support of the public health agendas of the Australian and New Zealand governments and providing people with transparent nutrition information.
Globally, Nestle has made a commitment to have front-of-pack guidance labelling on all our products by 2016, because we believe they provide factual and objective assistance when people are choosing their food.
To get a free wallet size health star rating guide simply contact us here.
Claire Turnbull, Nutritionist for the AUT Millennium talks to us about health star ratings