(ed:..under the current system sugar/salt-laden muck can receive a four-star (out of five!) rating..and the manufacturers/pushers of this unhealthy-muck are able to totally ‘game’ the system..)
Consumer NZ wants a limit to the amount of stars that a high-sugar high-fat or high-sodium a food can get.
New Zealand shoppers would be able to put more faith in Health Star ratings if they did not allow manufacturers to compensate for having ‘bad’ ingredients by adding more ‘good’ commentators say.
The rating system was launched in 2014 and now appears on the front of about 1500 packaged foods in New Zealand.
It is designed to make it easier for shoppers to choose healthy good options.
The star is determined based on fibre – protein – fruit – vegetable nut and legume content compared to the amount of saturated fat – energy – total sugar and sodium.
But there has been controversy – Nestle came under fire for achieving a 4.5-star rating for Milo on the basis that it was prepared with low-fat milk.
Nutri-Grain – which is 27 per cent sugar – also achieves four stars because it has good levels of fibre and protein.
Consumer NZ has made a submission to the Health Star Rating Advisory Committee which is conducting a two-year progress review of the system – recommending that there be a limit to the amount of stars a high-sugar high-fat or high-sodium product can attain.