The health food rating system will be overhauled and replaced with new criteria to ensure Australians are being encouraged to make the right food choices.
Everything from beloved Australian snacks to cereals and dairy are set for a shake up when state and federal ministers meet on Friday to create a revised health star rating system.
But cheese makers are worried the new system could discourage people from consuming dairy – particularly cheese.
Under the new criteria, some types of cheese – which are recommended as part of a healthy and balanced diet – would receive just one star.
Under the new criteria, some types of cheese – which are recommended as part of a healthy and balanced diet – would receive just one star
That’s a stark comparison to Milo cereal, for example, which would be given a health star rating of four out of five, The Australian reported.
More than half of the regular household cheese products would be slapped with a rating of less than three stars.
Even cheddar flavoured Shapes biscuits would be considered more healthy under the new system, with a 1.5 star rating.
Pizza Shapes will likely keep their current two star rating under the new system.
Australia’s beloved Tim Tam biscuits will be given just half a star rating, as will a block of Toblerone chocolate.
The Health Star Rating is a front-of-pack labelling system which rates the overall nutritional value of packaged food.
Milo cereal, for example, would be given a health star rating of four out of five
Australia’s beloved Tim Tam biscuits will be given just half a star rating, as will a block of Toblerone chocolate
Ratings from half a star through to five stars are assigned to the products, with the hope of providing a quick and easy way to compare similar packaged foods.
The message is supposed to be ‘the more stars, the healthier the choice’.
Janine Waller, a dietitian and the executive director of Australian Dairy Products Federation said the new system could lead Australians to falsely assume cheese is an unhealthy option.
‘Cheese is an integral part of the dairy food group, which alongside grains, vegetables and legumes, lean meats and fruits, is considered a five food group,’ Ms Waller said.
‘Cheese is not an indulgent food, nor is it one that is usually eaten in excess. In fact, those that do eat cheese daily usually eat only one third of the recommended daily serve – around a third of a small match box.
‘We see no reason why cheese continues to get such a bad rap.’
Pizza Shapes will likely keep their current two star rating under the new system