Snack bars avoid Health Stars

A new survey from the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has revealed that 63 per cent of snack bars on major supermarket shelves do not display the Health Star Rating system, while other brands display the stars on high-rating products only.

The OPC surveyed 164 bars stocked in major supermarkets and found that those that did not display the stars had a score between one and 2.5 out of a possible five.

“Leading brands such as Kellogg’s and Weight Watchers have not put Health Star Ratings on any of their snack bars, while Carman’s appears to be using the system as a promotional tool by only displaying the stars on its healthiest products,” OPC Executive Manager Jane Martin said.

Ms Martin said that 62 per cent of grocery buyers would use the Health Star Rating system when grocery shopping if they were included on snack bar packaging. One in six Australians eats the bars every week.

Ms Martin said that the federal Government should make the inclusion of the Health Star Rating system compulsory across all products.

“Coles, Woolworths and Uncle Tobys have set a great example by reformulating some of their products and using health star ratings across the board,” she said. “We want to see the federal Government make the Health Star Rating System mandatory to ensure food manufacturers use the system as it was intended and display the stars on all their packaged foods.”

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