Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition has welcomed today’s commitment from the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation to review food labelling for added sugars but said implementation of the Health Star Rating must be rapid if real change is to be achieved.
“The Obesity Policy Coalition has been calling for genuine action to improve food labelling so we’re pleased to see this endorsed by ministers. On average Australian adults consume around 15 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and yet it’s currently impossible to know how much sugar is in the food we eat.”
“It’s no coincidence that while our added sugar intake increases, so does Australia’s obesity epidemic. Requiring added sugar to be included on the Nutrition Information label of products will provide the public with the right information to make informed decisions about what they eat.”
“While we welcome the recommendations on the Health Star Rating system, we can’t wait another five years to see only 7 out of 10 products carrying these labels. That will be a decade since the system was implemented. The Health Stars can only help consumers if all companies get on board and stop using it as a marketing tool to sneak unhealthier options into people’s trolleys.”
“We need a mandatory health star rating system that works for Australians, not used as a marketing tool by food companies.”