The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) have congratulated the Ministers at the Food Ministers' Forum meeting today in Sydney for their support of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system and agreeing to re-establish the website that facilitates the HSR on packaged food.
Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the OPC, said: "Recent figures show that poor diet is now the greatest risk for the burden of death and disease in Australia, followed by overweight and obesity. This is a huge step forward towards addressing the obesity epidemic facing this country. By empowering Australians with readily understandable information, the Healthy Star Ratings Scheme will enable them to cut through the marketing spin and make informed, healthy food choices."
The website is expected to be reinstated in the next few of weeks, allowing industry to calculate how many stars are appropriate for any food and providing guidance on the most consistent and effective way to use the system. There will be an evaluation in two years and without widespread adoption consideration will be given to making the system mandatory after five years.
"This is a major step toward making the healthy choice the easy choice. It is simple and straightforward - the more stars the healthier the food. It is a plus for shoppers to be able to rate and compare products at a glance. It is also an incentive for industry to reformulate products to make them healthier."
"The OPC is now urging all sectors of the food industry to commit to implementation of the Health Star System on packaging as quickly as possible. We know that Sanitarium and Woolworths have stepped up to be some of the first to roll out Healthy Star Ratings, which is fantastic. We hope that other companies will follow their lead and commit to this system that will ultimately benefit consumers by assisting them to make healthier choices."