Cancer Council has urged the state’s food manufacturers to abandon the daily intake guide and adopt Health Star Ratings, congratulating the Queensland Government for voting with other state and federal ministers to reinstate the scheme today.
The Health Star Rating Scheme features ratings from half a star up to five stars and includes nutritional information about saturated fat, sugar, sodium and energy content in food products.
The scheme was designed to help consumers make healthy, nutritional choices at a glance, and applies to all manufactured, processed and packaged goods.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift applauded Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg for renewing his support of the system.
“This is a huge win for the health of all Queenslanders,” Ms Clift said.
“The Health Star Rating system is crucial in helping all Queenslanders choose healthy food and avoid unhealthier options that increase the risk of obesity and cancer.
“The system is simple, easy to understand, and improves on the current daily intake guide which often makes product information confusing for consumers.
“We hope more Queensland food producers will follow this lead, adopting and fully complying with all aspects of this new system.
“Queenslanders have long wanted a simple nutrition labelling system to help them easily compare different products and make healthier choices.
“Effective front-of-pack labelling has the potential to reduce consumers’ intake of kilojoules, saturated fat, sugars and sodium – leading to reductions in obesity rates and a range of chronic diseases.
“Rolling out the healthy star rating system at a state level will ensure Queenslanders have the best possible chance of choosing healthy foods for their entire family.”
Eating a poor diet can lead to overweight or obesity and increase the risk of a range of chronic diseases, including some cancers.
The level of take-up for the scheme will be reviewed in two years and, if it has not been voluntarily adopted by the industry, a mandatory code will be introduced in five years.
Queensland has the highest rate of adult obesity in Australia – 10 per cent higher than the national rate*.
Research shows up to one-third of all cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes including eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
*Measured obesity in Queensland, 2011-12.