AMA Submission to the Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System
The AMA has provided a submission to the Five Year Review of the Health Star Rating System. The AMA has long recognised the need to improve food labelling and is a supporter of the HSR system. However, the system does require clarification and refinement to ensure that it continues to work as intended. The AMA believes that the HSR system should be part of the response to addressing obesity in Australia and calls for increased consideration around the role HSR can play in reducing consumption of added sugar, which is known to impact on obesity.
It its submission, the AMA notes that consumers appear to want the HSR on more products and for those that use HSR, it assists to make healthier choices that are sustained in the longer term. However, there does appear to be some lingering confusion about the application of the system and addressing this must become a priority. Education and awareness resources need to be available online and in hard copy and they should also be available from a range of locations including at point of sale. Targeted resources need to be developed for population groups that are known to have reduced awareness and understanding of the HSR, including people from lower SES backgrounds, people with higher BMIs and those from non-English speaking backgrounds.