Feedback on the draft updated Health Star Rating Calculator and Style Guide – October 2020

Statement from The George Institute on Health Star Ratings System - Juices Reform

The George Institute for Global Health welcomes the recent re-commitment from the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) to reform the Health Star Rating (HSR) of juices.

Dr Alexandra Jones, Research Fellow, Food Policy and Law at The George Institute welcomes the decision to give juices the appropriate HSR.

“High scoring juices were identified as problematic during the launch of the HSR System as they lead consumers to believe they are a healthy beverage. However, the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs) acknowledge they are not,” she said.

“Even 100 percent fruit juices contain a large amount of sugar and should only be consumed occasionally, in small amounts.”

“Despite recent media engagement from juice producers, this limited concession in the ADGs does not constitute a recommendation for most Australians to drink fruit juice.”

“This decision confirms that water is the best choice when it comes to drinks. It also builds on earlier Health Star reforms that make sure all whole fruit and vegetables receive a five star rating. The message we hope to send is that its better to eat your fruit.”

“We congratulate Forum ministers who supported evidence-based policy regarding this important issue. This decision will help consumers make informed choices based on nutritional science and best evidence,” Ms Jones said.

Facts about the HSR System:

  • The HSR is Australasia’s voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labelling system. Its aim is to guide consumers towards healthier packaged foods.
  • The George Institute’s research shows that the HSR is still only on less than half of all products in the supermarket, mostly those that score well.
  • Health and consumer groups continue to call for HSR to be made mandatory to deliver their full benefit to consumers.