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Shannen Findlay

Health ratings fail: Research reveals food star ratings are deceptive

Health ratings fail: Research reveals food star ratings are deceptive

Research has revealed some of Australia’s favourite cereals are not as good for us as they are made out to be. 

Australian not for profit consumer organisation, CHOICE says when the added sugar in food is properly accounted for, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain and Nestle’s Milo cereal lose 2.5 of their four heath rating stars. 

The consumer advocacy group is pushing for an overall of Australia’s health star rating systems for food and says customers don’t get the full picture when it comes to added sugar. 

The health star rating system was introduced as a way to give consumers the ability to compare similar products and make a healthier choice more easily. 

However CHOICE believes the system must be changed so products with added sugar can be penalised as it has been revealed Australia’s top-selling breakfast cereals can lose up to four stars when the added sugar is considered. 

“Right now, the health star rating algorithm treats all sugars the same,” CHOICE food expert Linda Przhedetsky told 7 News.

“It doesn't distinguish between extra sugar that's added to foods like breakfast cereals and naturally occurring sugars in dairy or fruits.

“We're calling for health ministers to introduce added sugar labelling on all packaged foods and to ensure that added sugar is more heavily penalised.”

The advocacy group has called for the health stars system to become a requirement for all foods and drinks as well as a guarantee that industries are not influencing the policies around food labelling.