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Food labelling

There have been a few stories in the news recently questioning the way food brands are using the health star ratings found on their products. It would seem that some companies are being quite creative when it comes to their labelling. Are you aware of the government’s health star ratings scheme for food? If so, do you think it’s a good idea and should it be mandatory? Do you make purchase decisions based on how high or low a product’s health star rating is? Would you like to see ratings on more products and do you trust food companies to label their products correctly?

Last reply: 15th Jul 2017 / 92 replies / Post by looklively

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chickenman

Posted by: chickenman
Posted: 27th Feb 2016

chickenman says: personally, i take little notice of those ratings; they are based on information that changes subject to the studies undertaken. i prefer to base my opinion on the contents and place of manufacture. Reply

dunbaylass

Posted by: dunbaylass
Posted: 29th Feb 2016

chickenman says: personally, i take little notice of those ratings; they are based on information that changes subject to the studies undertaken. i prefer to base my opinion on the contents and place of manufacture.

dunbaylass says: Like wise Chickenman, if I had to look at every label, I would never finish my shopping in time for lunch. I walked for hours on day with a lady from the diabetes clinic, she showed me a lot and I learnt nothing.
Its like when they say Organic, or free range,,, how do we know for sure. People are tricked to believe anything these day.
Reply

Kisagi

Posted by: Kisagi
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

dunbaylass says: Like wise Chickenman, if I had to look at every label, I would never finish my shopping in time for lunch. I walked for hours on day with a lady from the diabetes clinic, she showed me a lot and I...

Kisagi says: You would only need to read the label of a product that you are not familiar with so it should not be too bad. People tend to buy the same things over and over again, unless there is a new product. Reply

Lil

Posted by: Lil
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

chickenman says: personally, i take little notice of those ratings; they are based on information that changes subject to the studies undertaken. i prefer to base my opinion on the contents and place of manufacture.

Lil says: Neither do I take a lot of notice of these symbols. They really don't mean much at all. I've been to a course about diabetes and have learnt a little, the main thing being to look at the sugar and salt content per serve and per 100gms. That way you can easily work out whether the product is what you need . It doesn't take that long to glance at the labels to determine that. I also always look at country of origin. Reply

Brad

Posted by: Brad
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Lil says: Neither do I take a lot of notice of these symbols. They really don't mean much at all. I've been to a course about diabetes and have learnt a little, the main thing being to look at the sugar and...

Brad says: We read the health star ratings and study the contents listed (admittedly with some skepticism). The system isn't perfect, but it's a start... and much improved on (the lack of) information provided decades ago.

We've enjoyed several documentaries (generally while flying abroad) recently. More attention to diet has meant I've dropped my weight 18 kgs since 17th October. Even more surprising, I've maintained that weight loss. Here's a laugh: A friend in the UK, noticing my six-pack*, commented that they're auditioning for a new James Bond... and Daniel Craig should be worried!~

* I'm 70 next year. Haven't had a six-pack since the early 70s... . Reply

lynneeime

Posted by: lynneeime
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Brad says: We read the health star ratings and study the contents listed (admittedly with some skepticism). The system isn't perfect, but it's a start... and much improved on (the lack of) information...

lynneeime says: Congratulations Brad on your weight loss. It doesn't matter what age you are, it is good for your health to lose weight and be a healthy weight. Regarding food labels, I sometimes find them hard to understand but then I look at the fat, salt and sugar content and make my decision. The most important thing I look for is, if it is made in Australia. I don't buy from overseas because their food standards are not as high as ours. Reply

Brad

Posted by: Brad
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

lynneeime says: Congratulations Brad on your weight loss. It doesn't matter what age you are, it is good for your health to lose weight and be a healthy weight. Regarding food labels, I sometimes find them hard...

Brad says: "...it is good for your health to lose weight and be a healthy weight. " I agree, Lynneeime. Most of my siblings (all younger) suffer diabetes... and blood pressure issues.

The debate re sugar vs fat is quite interesting, with recent research indicating that fat is the lesser of two evils. Then, of course, salt content and gluten issues are identified by some as problematic.

Overseas produce? Here our views centre on supporting local producers first. Cuts down on transport (energy, roads, etc), and we support our farmers. We grow about half our fruit and veges... and buy nearly all other produce from farmers' markets nearby.

The greatest evil (after junk food) is portion size. There's a direct correlation between portion size and obesity in western countries. Declining second helpings and restricting desserts to once-a-week accounts for 95% of my weight loss! Restricting my wine intake to every second night, assisting metabolism, accounts for the other 5%. We still eat out at least once-a-week, but order two entres each, instead of mains.

As for food labelling, after studying labels, we no longer _buy_ any product with high salt, sugar or fat content. We avoid GM products simply because the jury's still out.

I've given up the gym. It never reduced my weight appreciably... whereas reduced portion size 'shrank' me by 17% within six weeks... . Downside? New clothes! :) Reply

Bula Fiji

Posted by: Bula Fiji
Posted: 8th Mar 2016

Brad says: "...it is good for your health to lose weight and be a healthy weight. " I agree, Lynneeime. Most of my siblings (all younger) suffer diabetes... and blood pressure issues.

The debate re...

Bula Fiji says: Absolutely agree about the portion size Brad. Personally I think that goes a long way to explain the success of diet programs with pre-packaged foods. It's not so much about what we eat (who doesn't know that donuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner are not good for you and will cause excessive weight gain?) but rather the gargantuan portions of otherwise healthy food that we eat. I think the concept of a 'normal' portion size has been lost over the preceding decades. Those countries who have a tradition of shared food in the centre of the table like Greece, have the highest rates of obesity.

With respect to the country of origin of foods I think it goes beyond reduced food miles for environmental purposes and support for our own farmers who often do it tough. I personally never buy any foodstuff that originates in China. This is the country that killed and maimed its own babies in 2008 by adding melamine to baby formula. It simply does not have the same food standards or transparency of production as Australia and I am not willing to risk my own family's health and well being to save a few dollars. Our food is cleaner and highly regulated. This comes at a cost but it is a cost that I am prepared to pay.

I do not look at food stars. I simply try to avoid all processed food products. Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy don't need food stars. If you cook the produce yourself you will know exactly how much sugar, salt and fat is added. Reply

Brad

Posted by: Brad
Posted: 8th Mar 2016

Bula Fiji says: Absolutely agree about the portion size Brad. Personally I think that goes a long way to explain the success of diet programs with pre-packaged foods. It's not so much about what we eat (who...

Brad says: Bula Fiji: "It (China) simply does not have the same food standards or transparency of production as Australia and I am not willing to risk my own family's health... (and)... I simply try to avoid all processed food products..."

Both good points, BF. We're finding it very difficult to avoid _all_ processed food products lately, as they're the most common pre-dinner nibblies presented at social gatherings we attend. These events aren't conducive to weight loss, either! Gained a half-kilo during the long weekend, solely attributed to succumbing to continually-offered plates of processed foods that normally don't get as far as our supermarket trolley... . Reply

winnie64

Posted by: winnie64
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Lil says: Neither do I take a lot of notice of these symbols. They really don't mean much at all. I've been to a course about diabetes and have learnt a little, the main thing being to look at the sugar and...

winnie64 says: Lil, I too mainly look at the sugar & salt content. I use to compare it with simular products. Reply

Luvmydogs

Posted by: Luvmydogs
Posted: 8th Mar 2016

Lil says: Neither do I take a lot of notice of these symbols. They really don't mean much at all. I've been to a course about diabetes and have learnt a little, the main thing being to look at the sugar and...

Luvmydogs says: It's not just the sugar & salt content that people need to be aware of when looking at the product contents. You should also look at the fat content - this is important for diabetics as well - & ensure that the total fat content is less than 10%. It's not hard to do & as has been said, you get to know the products that are suitable & they're the ones you buy. You only need to check something that is new really, don't you? Reply

bearman

Posted by: bearman
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

chickenman says: personally, i take little notice of those ratings; they are based on information that changes subject to the studies undertaken. i prefer to base my opinion on the contents and place of manufacture.

bearman says: I'm with you on this. I know what is good for me and what is not. I will look at star ratings if I am going to try something new, but once I have tried it I put the star rating on the back burner. Reply

crikey

Posted by: crikey
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

chickenman says: personally, i take little notice of those ratings; they are based on information that changes subject to the studies undertaken. i prefer to base my opinion on the contents and place of manufacture.

crikey says: I agree. I do not trust food companies to do the right thing so I limit the items I buy and read the labels of the items I buy. I prefer to buy from my local market. Reply

Fireflyz

Posted by: Fireflyz
Posted: 16th May 2016

chickenman says: personally, i take little notice of those ratings; they are based on information that changes subject to the studies undertaken. i prefer to base my opinion on the contents and place of manufacture.

Fireflyz says: I don't really take notice of the star ratings either and tend to look at the ingredients listing and nutritional panel. Reply

Gerry

Posted by: Gerry
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Gerry says: Honesty still does not exist so we still can not believe what these labels display. Made from local and imported products, for a single product item.
They are in it for the money not the consumers health. Reply

chickenman

Posted by: chickenman
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Gerry says: Honesty still does not exist so we still can not believe what these labels display. Made from local and imported products, for a single product item.
They are in it for the money not the...

chickenman says: well said Gerry. all about money now. Reply

Gerry

Posted by: Gerry
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

chickenman says: well said Gerry. all about money now.

Gerry says: Golden Circle now imports its pineapple as if we do not have better pineapple here to can. Big companies killing off our farmers more every day. Coles Woolworths are some of the many implicit in these actions. Reply

Gerry

Posted by: Gerry
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

chickenman says: well said Gerry. all about money now.

Gerry says: Golden Circle now imports its pineapple as if we do not have better pineapple here to can. Big companies killing off our farmers more every day. Coles Woolworths are some of the many implicit in these actions. Reply

raci

Posted by: raci
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

raci says: I personally never go by the star ratings on food packaging. I prefer to read the ingredients listing and nutritional table to determine if think something is a good choice for me or not. I also like to know where the items orginated from and were processed, as this sometimes impacts my decision on whether to purchase a product. Reply

chickenman

Posted by: chickenman
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

raci says: I personally never go by the star ratings on food packaging. I prefer to read the ingredients listing and nutritional table to determine if think something is a good choice for me or not. I also...

chickenman says: ditto raci Reply

PGS

Posted by: PGS
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

PGS says: Check the content list, not that it always makes a difference. MSG is supposed to be banned here, but there are so many names it goes under. Some can be found here: http://schmitt-au.com/pdf/msg-names.pdf
Don't really trust them. Have found a few times the name may not indicate what the content really is. Reply

Yankeedoodle

Posted by: Yankeedoodle
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Yankeedoodle says: Yes and no as it would not stop me from looking at the ingredients as I developed that habit about 55 years ago when I started cooking with my mom and grandmother. Sugar and salt are two things that I look for in my shopping that my mom and grandmother taught me to look for and I guess you could say that is why I have never put on weight. I way the same now as I did in 1968 when I went into the military so I must be doing something right. I also look for fat content but you have to have good fat and some bad fat in moderation. I would still not trust food companies to do the right thing. Reply

mrwonderful5433

Posted by: mrwonderful5433
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

mrwonderful5433 says: The health star ratings are only a guide ti help choose a product. However there are other factors that have significance like taste and value for money. I don't trust food companies to be honest with their ratings any more than I trust a taxi driver in Pakistan! It's a great idea if companies can be honest. Reply

Sandy

Posted by: Sandy
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Sandy says: I have to check, Gluten, Lactose and Frutose, so have to check all the labels Reply

jonmic

Posted by: jonmic
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

jonmic says: I read ingredients list first, then country of origin but if its highly processed food i probably avoid anyway. Reply

vickbenla

Posted by: vickbenla
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

vickbenla says: I dont take much notice of nutritional labels on food, the only things I look out for are country of origin & ingredients as I have food allergies.
I don't have kids at home any more, so health stars aren't as important to me as they would if I were still buying food for kids. I have noticed though, that a lot of so called "healthy food" for kids is full of sugar, I think this should be prominently displayed on products Reply

Tuppence

Posted by: Tuppence
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

vickbenla says: I dont take much notice of nutritional labels on food, the only things I look out for are country of origin & ingredients as I have food allergies.
I don't have kids at home any more, so health...

Tuppence says: We are an older couple, children grown up and left home. I agree that some high (very high) levels of sugar are found in foods marked healthy! My husband is diabetic so all I look at is the nutrition panel and country of origin/manufacture. I do not buy much that has been manufactured and prefer to cook at home from scratch. Then I know what is in my food(I hope). Unfortunately on many occasions it is cheaper to eat junk(processed) food so I have to juggle my budget, a lot!
Reply

nannyogg

Posted by: nannyogg
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

nannyogg says: As long as there is a demand for an easy way to rate a product there will be producers who will want to take advantage of the people who want a quick and simple answer. I have been in a hurry and been caught out sometimes, but I find if you have time to read the label properly, you won't be as deceived.
Misleading label information on the origin and comparative wholesomeness of the product (eg organic/free range/no artificial/non-GMO) are trickier as it seems the legislation itself is designed to help some products slip under consumers watchful radar
Reply

Kathro

Posted by: Kathro
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Kathro says: For these to be of any use, everybody has to be comparing apples with apples, people are going to take no notice if the information can't be trusted. I use them as a bit of a starting point if say I have 2 items to compare, but then I always check the nutrition information as well, especially with things like cereals, yoghurts and snack food aimed at kids Reply

Leonardus

Posted by: Leonardus
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Leonardus says: I am aware of the ratings scheme. I think it is a good idea and should be mandatory. I am encouraged by the scheme to purchase certain products. I would like to see on more products. I do not trust companies but are they regulated to correctly label? Reply

barbiedoll99

Posted by: barbiedoll99
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Leonardus says: I am aware of the ratings scheme. I think it is a good idea and should be mandatory. I am encouraged by the scheme to purchase certain products. I would like to see on more products. I do not trust...

barbiedoll99 says: Yes, I check most of the labels to see the health rating because being healthy is important to me as I am 82 and want to live in my own home until I die.
At present I am pretty healthy other than a dropped foot and Arthritis. Reply

lornet5353

Posted by: lornet5353
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

lornet5353 says: I find the star rating a good idea but somewhat misleading. Are they monitored by independant group or only by the manufacturer. I prefer the ingredie ts and nutrition labels to be more reliable. Reply

carpentereng

Posted by: carpentereng
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

carpentereng says: I like the information panels that list the contents per 100g or 100ml as this makes it the quickest and easiest way to compare items. The star system doesn't help that much because it is looking at all the ingredients but you may be looking for certain things only like low salt, low sugar or low fat. Reply

Bazz

Posted by: Bazz
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Bazz says: I'm aware of the ratings, I think they're a good idea, but should not be mandatory. I do not make purchase decisions based on their criteria; I have my own criteria. That said, others are looking for such a system and are quite prepared to back whatever scheme their government comes up with to "clear up the mess", so to speak. It's good they are making an effort, but it doesn't come anywhere near close to that which needs to be done to ensure consumers are making an informed decision. If I have enough information before I take that taxi trip, I will know pretty soon if I'm being taken on the scenic route or by the fastest means!

Consumers currently are not informed of any ingredient making up less than 1% of the product (1% by weight or by volume?). We are not informed that even our fresh certified organic produce leaves the farm, gets sprayed &/or dipped in chemical & then gets 'irradiated' before arriving on the supermarket shelves. Country of origin is often not stated clearly. Suppliers working conditions, wages, standards, etc are never shown. Most will be entirely unaware of what the Unions have found out about the supermarket fresh produce suppliers... workers are forced / coerced into signing contracts to sign away their rights & protections as employees which means what has been proven to have happened is... forced 22 hour shifts without proper breaks, wages at $2 an hour, forced into accepting accommodation owned by their boss for 75% of their wages, women being routinely sexually abused (yes, that means repetitive rape) by their bosses...

Governments should be more interested in regulating & informing us on every aspect of our food supply & pricing instead of coming up with half-baked ratings schemes which do nothing except make the big bigger & continue the corruption & deceit & criminalizing whistle-blowers. If they fail in that endeavor, then at least they can rebuild an environment whereby corner stores can compete with supermarkets so that people can make informed choices. Reply

Joh :)

Posted by: Joh :)
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Joh :) says: Some of Australia's best-known food brands have been accused of trying to trick the federal government's health star rating system and confuse consumers about the real nutritional value of their products.

Examples : -
Milo states a 4.5 star health rating on its tin, but on closer inspection reveals this is when the product is made up with "skim milk". On its own Milo is only rated 1.5 stars.
Several Kellogg's cereals, such as Fruit Loops and Crunchy Nut Cornflake Clusters. Certain Nestle products show a higher star rating that has nothing to do with the actual content of the package. These ratings are printed as an example of how the Health Star Ratings works. - Kellogg's are now in the process of amending all its cereal packaging so the actual health star rating of the product will match the nutritional label information. They got caught and now have to amend.

We as the buyer get tricked into thinking these type of products are actually healthier than we thought. On reading the small print (which most people don't do) it is then discovered that these health ratings have nothing to do with the product.

The health star rating system is being exploited as a marketing tool by junk food manufacturers to make consumers think their food is healthy.

"This is one area of the health star scheme i'd like to see the government improve on." There should be hefty fines for Companies that misuse the Health Star Rating Logo in this way.
I also feel that ALL PRODUCTS should have the "correct" health Star Rating describing what is in the product itself. Simple as that and no trickery. Also i feel that Junk food should have warnings on the packaging.

Anyway at the end of the day we all have a brain and we need to use it when shopping . - "Anything on the label is there to sell the product. Look at what they consider healthy and make sure it's what you consider healthy." - Fruit Loops healthy - I think not.
Don't take everything on Face Value. I certainly Don't Trust this type of labeling just yet and i certainly don't buy products based on this system. I know healthy from junk food so i will just use my common sense for now




Reply

Karsh

Posted by: Karsh
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Karsh says: Unfortunately I find Food labelling very confusing, I sometimes wonder if it is done that way on purpose. So I mainly buy what I am use to & know what I am buying. Reply

sneakierbiscuit

Posted by: sneakierbiscuit
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

sneakierbiscuit says: It's a start, and possibly useful for busy people or those not wishing to decipher the full ingredients list and nutritional information. But the presentation of information can be massaged, so I wouldn't put too much stock in it.
I don't always agree with the government's take on what constitutes healthy food. For example, I consider whole milk or yogurt a better option than part-skim any day. The fat helps satisfy us for longer, and I'd generally rather have real food in smaller portions than fake myself out with stuff loaded with gums and other fillers to make it seem as tasty as the real thing.

I don't purchase based on how high or low a product's health star rating is. I check the nutritional label (specifically the numbers for sugars along with fiber and protein, plus sodium, check there are no trans fats, check saturated fats, and overall calorie content. I check what these are per 100g, as well as by portion size (and what the recommended portion size is... sometimes it's comically small!)
I then read all the ingredients. I avoid foods with hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and other things, such as artificial colors. I look out for sugars with massaged labeling like "dehydrated fruit juice". Reply

wendel

Posted by: wendel
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

wendel says: I sometimes look at the ratings mainly for sugar and fat contents. It is a bit of a mindful and don't know if it's all that it's cracked up to be. It should be mandatory. I do purchase products if I think I am making a healthier choice by the ratings. Definitely a clearer more concise ratings system and same across the board would be beneficial to us all. But this is also dependent on how correct and honest they are. Reply

johnlmac1956

Posted by: johnlmac1956
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

johnlmac1956 says: I rarely take any notice of the star ratings as I cook almost everything from scratch using fresh ingredients. This way I have more control over how healthy the end dish is. Reply

Sunshine

Posted by: Sunshine
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Sunshine says: I think the food star system is an excellent start to letting us know what exactly we are eating. It is not perfect yet and would love to see them state whether there is any MSG, colours or additives in the products. We read the labels as we are both MSG intolerant and it affects our health.

This should be mandatory and the companies should not be trying to deceive us, so we are pleased with the current improvements.
Reply

Sunshine

Posted by: Sunshine
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Sunshine says: I think the food star system is an excellent start to letting us know what exactly we are eating. It is not perfect yet and would love to see them state whether there is any MSG, colours or additives in the products. We read the labels as we are both MSG intolerant and it affects our health.

This should be mandatory and the companies should not be trying to deceive us, so we are pleased with the current improvements.
Reply

Nikki67

Posted by: Nikki67
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Nikki67 says: I am aware of the star ratings and I think a lot more products should be labelled, especially for those with illnesses to help them buy correctly and not through guessing what is actually in it or where it comes from. A lot of food says its Australian but then in the very fine print you see its actually from overseas, this is totally wrong and should be forbidden on products. Reply

Stormed

Posted by: Stormed
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Stormed says: I don't take any notice of the star rating, after the fiasco with the heart tick where if you paid enough you got one, eg McDonalds fake food, I don't see how this one will be any different. If you read the labels and take note, particularly of sugar content, including all different types of sugar, and salt content, you can use your common sense to see what is good and what isn't. Reply

billyjd

Posted by: billyjd
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

billyjd says: Mandatory, and yes we do make purchase decisions based on star rating. Reply

Migaloo

Posted by: Migaloo
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Migaloo says: I find on a lot of products if the fat is low the sugar is high , also if the sugar is low the fat content can be high on others to .
I am aware of the health star ratings , normally l figure if it comes in a tin or a packet you eat it less, freshly made is still the best healthy way to eat . Reply

Migaloo

Posted by: Migaloo
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Migaloo says: I find on a lot of products if the fat is low the sugar is high , also if the sugar is low the fat content can be high on others to .
I am aware of the health star ratings , normally l figure if it comes in a tin or a packet you eat it less, freshly made is still the best healthy way to eat . Reply

Angieg

Posted by: Angieg
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Angieg says: I do look at the government's health star ratings on food and it does influence which products I purchase, especially if trying something new for the first time. I know the best way to find out exactly is in a product is at the back (or side) of the pack on the ingredients listings with details on what is in the product according to per 100g - but if I was to do that with everything I buy, it would take hours to get shopping done. Reply

chocogirl

Posted by: chocogirl
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

chocogirl says: I don't pay attention to the star rating but I have noticed it on products especially cereal boxes. I do check however to see where the product is manufactured or grown as I prefer to buy Australian produce where possible. I also look to see that there is no added MSG or artificial additives and preservatives. I think this is important so you can know the source of the product. I sometimes check sodium and sugar levels. Reply

Moongold

Posted by: Moongold
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Moongold says: I'm not convinced having government 'award' stars would be of any help! Most of them don't know what good nutrition is, let alone what may be harmful. I've worked in Parliamentary chambers and have seen the abominable over-indulgent and harmful meals our government representatives gorge themselves on. They're not interested in a TRULY healthy diet: they just eat the top cuts and drink the most expensive wines! I believe it should be mandatory to list all ingredients of all packaged and tinned food on the outside of the packing, and not just a code (which means you need to find a book revealing what the codes refer to!). ' S259', for instance, conveys nothing. When you discover that ice cream actually contains PAINT STRIPPER, for just one example, you begin to realise how vital listing of ingredients becomes. And no, I wouldn't trust the companies or the government to truthfully list ingredients. It's obvious that anyone who stands to profit from sales of food items should not be involved. A strict registration of food contents and penalties for ignoring those requirements should be enforced by an unbiased third party. Reply

jud

Posted by: jud
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

jud says: I am aware of the Government's health star rating for food. I do think that it is a good idea and it should be mandatory. I think it would determine the products health star rating whether I would be or not! Reply

senorita

Posted by: senorita
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

senorita says: Past few months, I have noticed lots of food products are now labelled with the health star ratings. I do not see any issues in government regulation to make it mandatory, but will be happy if the products have been certified correctly by appropriate certified companies to test those products and approve the correct rating star on the products. I sometimes decide to purchase the products based on the health star rating.
I would not trust the food companies to label the products correctly but would trust if a certified company can approve it. Reply

Keerah1

Posted by: Keerah1
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Keerah1 says: I think its a great idea to have a health star labelling system. It gives the consumers information on how healthy the product is. Before its purchased. Yes I am aware of the Governments health star rating. Yes I say it should be mandatory. It will assist us on healthy eating. I haven't made decisions based on the health star rating. As I didn't know it started. I would like to see more ratings on more products. And I am hoping companies will be honest with their star ratings. There should be a policy if the companies are not honest. To receive a fine of $5000. Reply

parth

Posted by: parth
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

parth says: Hi i personally belive its directly from the manufatureing and lable is most improtant for the company name because of it some time directly companys reputation so i fully trusted on the food labelling.
Thanks Reply

sonet

Posted by: sonet
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

sonet says: I don't really believe in the star ratings as I mainly stick to the food basics I do check for food additives and where the food comes from. Reply

Ashar

Posted by: Ashar
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Ashar says: Yes I definitely think that health star ratings should be mandatory on all types of food. The ratings scheme however should be set and monitored by a body like the Heart Foundation and not the food companies themselves as they cannot be trusted. I definitely take into consideration the health star ratings as well as price when deciding which product to buy. I would like the star rating system to be rolled out on all types of products for energy, health, and recycling. Reply

Zelda

Posted by: Zelda
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Zelda says: I am aware of the government's health star ratings scheme for food. I don't really take much notice of it and I don't think it should be mandatory. I would rather just have a product's ingredients visible on the packaging; which would influence my decision more whether or not to buy something. Reply

peterv

Posted by: peterv
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

peterv says: I believe that the ratings system is a step in the right direction but some food companies are openly dishonest in their claims. If you want to avoid confusion try buying fresh rather than processed foods. Reply

Mum

Posted by: Mum
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Mum says: I am not aware of the government's health star rating, but I usually read the ingredients and decide for myself. Reply

mazzab

Posted by: mazzab
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

mazzab says: I have read all of the comments on here so far and totally agree with the majority of them. The "Star Rating" is an total waste of time and taxpayers money. I too, like a lot of others her rating" e, look at sugar, salt and fat content, as well as country of origin. I make my decision on those things and not some ridiculous "star rating" put forward by someone wo fancies themselves to be an expert.. Save the money and put it to better use in health and education.
Reply

Marie-Clare

Posted by: Marie-Clare
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Marie-Clare says: Yes-the health star rating is important. It identifies the nutritional value of the food, and identifies major health issues relating to food like fat content, sugar content, salt content and assigns a star rating to guide consumers. I like it and want it branded on all products to fight the growing obesity epidemic which Australia is currently experiencing! Reply

Peter

Posted by: Peter
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Peter says: Yes-the Government's health star rating is a good idea and should be mandatory-it gives a rating based ion such things as fat content, sugar content ,salt content, fibre content etc which are all important criteria when assessing the health aspects of food and to prevent weight gain diseases associated with diet. I do look at the star rating when selected food items as it is a guide to good health I think. Yes-I would like to see all packaged products food labelled and would require food companies to have an independent assessment done through an accredited Government agency I think. Reply

Bella4927

Posted by: Bella4927
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

Bella4927 says: I am aware of the governments health star rating scheme for food. I think it is a great idea, it should be mandatory whether it is used by everyone or not. It gives the consumer the choice at least to be more aware of what they are buying and consuming.
I make some purchases based on how low the product star rating is; but not all. It depends on what I am making or eating.
I think there should be ratings on all products. I put my faith that the companies label foods correctly; and I believe they should be fined for misleading information.
This would be beneficial for people with dietary requirements ie; diabetics. Reply

musicmum

Posted by: musicmum
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

musicmum says: Yes I am aware of the health star rating, but I think it is another way big producers are pushing their products. It may help some people but for me I don't trust it as I have seen it on 'not so healthy' food. I won't use it to decide what to buy. I just want companies to list their ingredients with a percentage of each ingredient and to use plain language instead of all those terms no one understands. For example if it is sugar just put sugar,not glucose, fructose, or any other 'ose'. Reply

victory

Posted by: victory
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

victory says: I watch every label as to the health benefits or not!! My concern is that they are not telling the consumer the truth, I would like to see more of where the product is from, how it is put together and with what is added to the product in larger writing so that it can be read by the consumer. Freshly made is always best but don't always have that choice so why don't they tell us what we are eating, after all the consumer is paying for the product, more ratings and labels,please. Reply

l0lapx

Posted by: l0lapx
Posted: 1st Mar 2016

l0lapx says: I dont waste time reading labels, the powers that be are schizophrenic, changing their minds like people change underwear. Unreliable and would take forever.

Dont think they actually have a clue, just promote what they want to sell or have a glut of.

Only need to buy, sugar, tea and other staples. The rest comes fresh from the farm... Always has always will... God willing.....

Have never followed the fads of supermarkets - a big con and waste of time and money ...... how many brands of anything do you need to clutter the store with..... ???

Hate it when I need to take someone, pure torture for me, so glad I got out of the rat race years ago.... Reply

Kisagi

Posted by: Kisagi
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

l0lapx says: I dont waste time reading labels, the powers that be are schizophrenic, changing their minds like people change underwear. Unreliable and would take forever.

Dont think they actually...

Kisagi says: You are lucky to be able to grow your own food but the majority can't so for most people food labelling is useful. Reply

Hes

Posted by: Hes
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

Hes says: health star government ratings should be compulsory for all food products.other ratings on food stuffs tend to be misleading as i dont trust the food companies to label them correctly Reply

boppa99

Posted by: boppa99
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

boppa99 says: Well I have too check most products I know because I have Diabetes 2
Yes,All products should be labeled to help thous in need of it,
In the past ,I never looked because it was"nt a worry for me
But because of the Complications of Being a Older Adult ,You Start to Worry More.
Can You Trust Companies,As Long as they can Give a Bit of a Balance to Food Products ,Then Iam Happy Reply

pothum

Posted by: pothum
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

pothum says: Yes I would like to see a star rating on food items BUT doubt how authentic it would be. Have heard stories about the heart tick being sold to companies, so is it really worth buying products with this on? Need more information available and a safe and easy way to identify products that are safe and healthy Reply

Kisagi

Posted by: Kisagi
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

Kisagi says: I am aware of the health star rating and I think in priniciple it is a good idea. However, I would like to know more about how exactly the stars are awarded, i.e. what the criteria are. While I am not a total "health freak" and I certainly don't follow any diets, I have some pretty strong ideas about what I want to eat, and I'm not sure my standards match those of the health star rating agency.

Furthermore, I find the nutrition panel more informative. But I also realise that not everybody would take the time to read the labels, especially when they are in such small print! So for a lot of people the star rating would be helpful. It would not consciously influence my purchase decision, but who knows, unconsciously I could possibly still be paying attention...

I'm not sure if it is a good idea to make the star rating compulsory. It might lead to some product manufacturers trying to bend the rules. I certainly would not trust food companies to label their own products. It might result in ludicrous claims like "fat-free" jelly or "low-sugar" chips.

Reply

Shanti

Posted by: Shanti
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

Shanti says: I think the Health Star Ratings should be on all products, but I certainly wouldn't trust food companies to label their products correctly! This should be undertaken by a separate body such as the Health Dpt or the CSIRO. I constantly check the contents in food, as I am on a low-sodium, no-sugar, low GI, low fat diet due to health issues. Anything that makes it easier to check the contents is welcome! Reply

pete 9

Posted by: pete 9
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

pete 9 says: Yes, food labelling is an area, which does depend of the trust of companies. The label states ingredients and star rating is not necessary on foods which are of vegetable and un sweeten natural fruits, example, all tinned vegetables and most frozen vegetables, generally give you the idea, just what is in the product by ingredients, but the made to meals , I think should definitely be rated, to allow people the choice of eating something which is an alternative to using fresh fruits and vegetables, and to know if the product is even worth reading the ingredients on the label. I am for this idea, with certain products, not all. Reply

Douggie

Posted by: Douggie
Posted: 2nd Mar 2016

Douggie says: There have quite a few Food Companies who have told lies on there Packageing , Choice showed them. Me being Diabetic I have to check all labels "NO SUGAR".
Did you know that Heinze Food Stopped making Conserves without Sugar as there was little call for it. How do I know this, I asked them. They own Golden Circle! Reply

angry mum

Posted by: angry mum
Posted: 3rd Mar 2016

angry mum says: I don't take any notice of those ratings. For me its about taste as everything else any product claims is mostly false. Reply

Pete

Posted by: Pete
Posted: 8th Mar 2016

Pete says: I don't personally take much notice of the star ratings because there's quite a bit of information out there supporting the idea that the manufacturers are playing fast & loose with the labelling criteria. If we must have a system like this, which to me is a bit "nanny state" anyway, we at least need to have the ratings supplied by a panel of qualified food scientists & nutritionists who DO NOT have connections to any food processors, manufacturers or vested interest companies such as the weight-loss industry, otherwise I think the system's fairly useless. Reply

Hayley1234

Posted by: Hayley1234
Posted: 9th Mar 2016

Hayley1234 says: Personally I don't take notice of the labels on the packaging of the food we buy.
We try to avoid packaged food altogether and eat mainly fruits, vegetables, fresh legumes, fresh eggs and meat. If we do purchase packaged foods I try to find the ones with the least ingredients. I am not aware of the governments health star ratings scheme for food. Reply

bearman

Posted by: bearman
Posted: 24th Mar 2016

bearman says: I LIKE ANYTHING THAT HELPS ME CHOOSE WISELY AS LONG AS THERE IS CONSISTENCY IN APPLYING THIS SYSTEM AND THERE ARE CHECKS TO DISCOURAGE CHEATING AND SOME SORT OF FINE/ PUNISHMENT FOR ANYONE CHEATING Reply

mymonkey

Posted by: mymonkey
Posted: 25th Mar 2016

mymonkey says: I heard a while ago that companies were paying each other to rate their products of adding stars to make their products seem healthy or paying to put the heart tick to say their product is good for health. I wouldn't be surprised as you cant trust these companies, all they want is your money and don't really care about your health.. Reply

ColletteMaree

Posted by: ColletteMaree
Posted: 2nd Apr 2016

ColletteMaree says: I have seen the new start rating system but I would like more information on what criteria have to be met in order to receive the rating. Mandatory would be great. The star system seems to be a good heads up for both good and bad choices. If a product has a low star rating that is like a flag to look more closely at the ingredients to see just what the problem is. I do not trust food companies to be 100% honest in their labelling. I have to major problems. First one is that there are ingredients with several different names and companies use that to "hide" some ingredients. The second is that they are printed so small which means I have great difficulty reading them. Reply

Rabbits1

Posted by: Rabbits1
Posted: 15th Jul 2016

Rabbits1 says: I do take note of the labels (if printed on the front) I dont always read back! Reply

sahara22

Posted by: sahara22
Posted: 15th Jul 2016

sahara22 says: It's a good visual aid for those of us who would like to know more about our food, where it is from, etc. But these can be misleading, only advertising part of the truth and leaving out vital information in order to sell a product to the mass public. Reply

sahara22

Posted by: sahara22
Posted: 15th Jul 2016

sahara22 says: It's a good visual aid for those of us who would like to know more about our food, where it is from, etc. But these can be misleading, only advertising part of the truth and leaving out vital information in order to sell a product to the mass public. Reply

Ziah

Posted by: Ziah
Posted: 23rd Jul 2016

Ziah says: I use the star rating all the time - as a flag telling me what NOT to buy! I prefer to do my own research and determine what is really healthy and unhealthy - and for me and my family, processed and packaged foods are things we enjoy only rarely as a treat, and even then, I carefully research them long before getting to the store so I know just which ones are acceptable to us (with gluten, dairy, soy, MSG and aspartame allergies/celiac disease etc). Even so-called health food companies lie on their labels - take Orgran, a supposedly respectable health food company. They hide MSG in their products by calling it "vegetable protein extract (corn)" and "vegetable derived monoglycerides", instead of calling it what it is - MSG - and giving consumers the information they require to make an informed decision. We are required to become researchers and sleuths to determine what is ok to eat and what is not. So no, I do not trust labels at all anymore, and I certainly do not trust the Star ratings one jot (especially when they can label a cereal like Nutri-Grain, which is something like 30% sugar, as healthy!) - and anyone who actually thinks the labels tell the truth and are there to properly inform and protect you is sorely mistaken :/ Reply

maxAU

Posted by: maxAU
Posted: 27th Jan 2017

maxAU says: The government ratings are a) opt in, and b) terrible.
Many products that are high in sugar but low in fat manage to get through with a decent score. Similarly, products like natural yoghurt, which is great for you for a number of reasons, receives a bad rating.
It is not that difficult to learn to read nutritional information or learn about macronutrients. We should just start teaching this in schools instead of wasting money on flawed ratings systems. Reply

helly

Posted by: helly
Posted: 1st Mar 2017

helly says: Yes i agree, it should be on a lot more foods. They say children are mostly overweight, especially on muesli bars etc, i think it would help if the children get to learn what it means as well. I also think its more sugar that fat that puts on weight. example sugar in cool drinks, which everybody turns to on a hot day without thinking about it. Reply

helhy

Posted by: helhy
Posted: 25th Mar 2017

helhy says: I am more concerned about whether the product contains Canola Oil. It is the worst oil around. It is a trans fat and causes heart attacks. I read all labels, if it says Canola Oil then I put it back. Reply

afn1960

Posted by: afn1960
Posted: 6th Apr 2017

afn1960 says: I look at where it is manufactured, ingredients, besides that the writing is getting smaller and harder to read , makes me wonder what they are really hiding ? Reply

Rossissmellingtheroses

Posted by: Rossissmellingtheroses
Posted: 16th Apr 2017

Rossissmellingtheroses says: I do look at most labels of items that I don't buy frequently. I check total fats, sugars & sodium, then most importantly, if it is made in Australia. If not, back on the shelf! Reply

archer

Posted by: archer
Posted: 15th May 2017

archer says: Archer replies I am aware of the health star ratings but I don't spend time looking at the stars or I would never finish my shopping Reply

Jezemeg8

Posted by: Jezemeg8
Posted: 26th May 2017

Jezemeg8 says: I don't take any notice of any "star ratings" on food brands, as it has long been known that these ratings are purchased. Instead my first port of call when shopping is the ingredient label. If that is filled with made up names (such as hydrolyzed protein instead of simply "soy products") or numbers or chemical names, then it goes back on the shelf immediately. Only if I can recognize all of the ingredients do I then consider buying it. I prefer to purchase raw fruit and vegetables and buy very few foods that have had any processing. Reply

devon

Posted by: devon
Posted: 29th May 2017

devon says: I'm aware of the changes being made but that won't affect my lack of trust in health star ratings. I always check the back of the product and make my purchase based on ingredients, macros and calories. Reply

bettythrelfo

Posted by: bettythrelfo
Posted: 15th Jul 2017

bettythrelfo says: Yes, I would like to see the labelling done on all packets if possible. that would give me a fair idea as to how good a product is for me... selfish I know, but sometimes you pick up a new product off the shelves, and I have no clues I must admit about it, where made, how made, imported etc. Reply

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