keldaz

New star ratings on food.

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    I've noticed that they've started to phase in the new star ratings on food. Don't know too much about it, just heard about it on the car radio a while ago. Food gets rated 1-5 stars depending on content and nutritional value. The rating appears on the packaging in a circle with the number of stars it's been graded at. Currently we've found it on cereals, yogurts and dessert pots (that's pudding pots in British!!). Not sure if it's being extended to all food stuff, but it would be extremely good if it was.

     

    Hopefully it will at least, if only in a small way help people make better choices, especially if they don't understand food content, or are time poor, or have to drag their little darlings round the supermarket with them etc, making it difficult to examine food stuff properly.

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    It can be a good thing. I recall the traffic light system in the UK ase being a clear and easy to understand one. Red = bad, orange = medium bad and green = good. Was easy to see that randy meal chicken curry consisted of lots of red and orange and no green :)

     

    I hope whatever system they try here proves to be understood and used. The traffic light system was not liked by a number of stores as it was clearly off putting to people seeing all the red and orange. Whereas the wording and percentages of daily intake was less clearly understood and so people would be more likely to buy it as they couldn't see if it was good or bad.

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    It's half of a good idea:

     

    http://theconversation.com/a-year-on-australias-health-star-food-rating-system-is-showing-cracks-42911

     

    but like the article suggests being based on nutrients alone rather than how healthy an item is it's not too great - like beer battered oven chips having 4 stars but Greek style yoghurt only getting 1.5. It can't replace knowledge of food groups and what's actually best to eat - like fresh fruit and veg (which has no packaging or stars!).

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    It's also a voluntary scheme so those manufacturers that don't want to use it don't have to. I suspect that what will happen is the companies producing food that gets reasonably high ratings will use it and those with lower ratings won't, unless they have some socially conscious policy thing.

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