New study to change the face of Australian food

Health Star Rating System - Draft Five Year Review Report

The George Institute welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the Draft Review Report for the Health Star Rating System.

A considerable body of evidence now suggests consumers can understand and use the HSR graphic, and that it is superior to the industry-preferred Daily Intake Guide which it replaced. To build upon this progress it is essential that HSR continue, and that attention be directed to maximising its public health impact by:

  • Strengthening HSR’s algorithm on the basis of the best available public health evidence, including by adoption of the additional proposal for sodium, adjusting the protein ‘tipping point’, and considering stronger treatment of sugars in addition to the preferred options currently contained in the Draft Review Report
  • Improving HSR’s governance through steps that reinforce government leadership and bolster HSR’s independence, particularly by protecting the science of its underpinning algorithm and the determination of anomalies from commercial conflicts of interest
  • Maximising (not merely incentivizing) uptake by making HSR mandatory, and as an interim measure setting clear targets and an outlined process for enacting regulation if these targets are not met by a specified date
  • Applying lessons learned from global FoPL innovation, including integration of FoPL with other food and nutrition policies such as advertising requirements or healthy food procurement
  • Situating HSR within a national nutrition and/or obesity policy, and ensuring appropriate resource is directed to support HSR as one component of a comprehensive policy approach

Read our full submission and supporting analysis (PDF 1 MB)