Packaged foods will feature a health star rating to assist consumers make informed, healthier food choices.
Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann made the announcement today following the Food Regulation Forum in Sydney.
“Front-of-Pack Labelling will support consumers to make healthier food choices by giving them at-a-glance information about the food they buy,” Ms Plibersek said.
“The star rating system will contribute to alleviating the burden of chronic disease, overweight and obesity issues in Australia.
“Today more than four million Australians are obese, and almost 10 million are overweight. One in four children are overweight or obese, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost two times as likely as non-indigenous Australians to be obese.
“Overweight translates into chronic diet-related diseases, hospitalisations and a significant rise in long-term care so this is a significant step in assisting consumers make informed choices.”
The health star system will apply to packaged, manufactured or processed foods presented ready for sale.
The system will consist of a star rating scale of ½ a star to 5 stars, with ½ star increments and a “slider” above the relevant star/half star with the corresponding number to highlight the star rating of the food.
Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, today welcomed the confirmation that packaged foods will feature a health star rating to assist consumers make informed, healthier food choices.
Ms King, in her former role as Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, worked with stakeholders in the food industry, public health and consumer organisations to advance the development of the star rating for packaged food.
“It is great that the Government has now finalised this important system to give consumers every opportunity to make healthier food choices by giving them at-a-glance information about the food they buy,” Ms King said.
“I know how vital this development is and how complex it has been to achieve. I urge all our local consumers to make full use of the system when it comes into place.”