Health Star Rating campaign to step up in Adelaide supermarkets this Sunday

Adelaide shoppers will start to see marketing of the Health Star Rating (HSR) campaign step up a gear as they make their way around their local supermarket from Sunday.

Page last updated: 31 January 2017

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31 January 2017

Adelaide shoppers will start to see marketing of the Health Star Rating (HSR) campaign step up a gear as they make their way around their local supermarket from Sunday.

Federal Assistant Minister for Health and Minister responsible for Food Regulation, Dr David Gillespie, today visited a suburban supermarket in Adelaide with the Federal Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint MP, to promote the HSR system for packaged foods as kids go back to school this week.

The public awareness campaign to begin on 5 February 2017 will see the HSR promotional campaign step up another level featuring in social media, shopping trolleys, shopping baskets, shelf wobblers, in store magazines and radio, and in online advertising across supermarket websites and in both Coles and Woolworths stores.

Minister Gillespie said Australia has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world and people need help to eat a more balanced diet. The Government’s HSR system for packaged foods offers a quick and easy guide to help them make informed choices.

“With more than 30 years’ experience as a gastroenterologist and consultant specialist physician, I want to spread the word that our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease are primarily due to poor diet – large intakes of energy-dense foods, with high saturated fat, sugar and/or salt content, and low intakes of nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruit and wholegrain cereals,” Dr Gillespie said.

“That’s why the Coalition Government is contributing funds towards the Health Star Rating system.

“As a medical practitioner, I always suggested to my patients that fresh is best and that they should eat in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which recommend consuming a variety of nutritious fresh food every day,” he said.

“If you are eating food that you pull out of the ground or off a tree, is harvested and unprocessed or it runs, jumps, swims or flies, it is generally pretty healthy. If you get it out of a shiny silver pack or a cardboard box, it has usually been processed.

“But I also understand that there will be times when people choose to purchase some packaged food. The HSR system is designed to help consumers make informed choices about the packaged foods they purchase. It’s about getting the balance right and looking for the healthiest options.

The system uses stars, from a half to five stars to provide an at-a-glance overall rating of packaged and processed food. More than 115 food companies are now displaying stars on more than 5,500 food products and participation is growing rapidly.

Dr Gillespie said it is really important to use the system the way it was intended.

“The stars help you to choose between different products within a category (yogurts with yogurts, breakfast cereals with breakfast cereals) and not between categories. It doesn’t make sense to compare, for example, smoked salmon with a breakfast cereal – that was never intended.

“The HSR system takes some of the guess work out of shopping. Together with the nutritional panel on packs, it helps consumers to make healthier choices when it comes to buying packaged food,” he said.

The HSR system and the national public awareness campaign are a joint initiative between the Federal, state and territory governments, together with public health and consumer groups and the food industry.

For more information, contact the Minister's Office on (02) 6277 4960 or Kay McNiece on 0412 132 585

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