Cancer Council has urged the state’s food manufacturers to adopt Health Star Ratings, with the first products containing the voluntary front-of-pack labeling hitting shelves nationally last week.
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.
Australian company Monster Health Food Co. was the first to adopt the voluntary front-of-pack scheme, releasing their four star muesli range to supermarkets around the country last week.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said Health Star Ratings were crucial in helping consumers make quick, informed choices about their food.
“Star ratings will help Queenslanders choose healthy food and avoid unhealthier options that increase the risk of obesity and cancer,” Ms Clift said.
“The system is simple, easy to understand, and improves on the current standard 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.
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.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via Cancer Council Helpline
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland