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Evaluating nutrient-based indices against food-and diet-based indices to assess the health potential of foods: how does the Australian health star rating system perform after five years?

Dickie, Sarah, Woods, Julie L, Baker, Phillip, Elizabeth, Leonie and Lawrence, Mark A 2020, Evaluating nutrient-based indices against food-and diet-based indices to assess the health potential of foods: how does the Australian health star rating system perform after five years?, Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.3390/nu12051463.

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Title Evaluating nutrient-based indices against food-and diet-based indices to assess the health potential of foods: how does the Australian health star rating system perform after five years?
Author(s) Dickie, Sarah
Woods, Julie LORCID iD for Woods, Julie L orcid.org/0000-0002-2717-310X
Baker, PhillipORCID iD for Baker, Phillip orcid.org/0000-0002-0802-2349
Elizabeth, Leonie
Lawrence, Mark AORCID iD for Lawrence, Mark A orcid.org/0000-0001-6899-3983
Journal name Nutrients
Volume number 12
Issue number 5
Article ID 1463
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2020-05-18
ISSN 2072-6643
2072-6643
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Nutrition & Dietetics
nutrition policy
health star rating
nutrient profiling
NOVA
ultra-processed food
Australian Dietary Guidelines
front-of-pack label
Summary Nutrient-based indices are commonly used to assess the health potential of individual foods for nutrition policy actions. This study aimed to evaluate the nutrient profile-informed Australian Health Star Rating (HSR), against NOVA and an index informed by the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs), to determine the extent of alignment. All products displaying an HSR label in the Australian marketplace between June 2014 and June 2019 were extracted from the Mintel Global New Product Database, and classified into one of four NOVA categories, and either as an ADG five food group (FFG) food or discretionary food. Of 4451 products analysed, 76.5% were ultra-processed (UP) and 43% were discretionary. The median HSR of non-UP foods (4) was significantly higher than UP foods (3.5) (p < 0.01), and the median HSR of FFG foods (4) was significantly higher than discretionary foods (2.5) (p < 0.01). However, 73% of UP foods, and 52.8% of discretionary foods displayed an HSR ≥ 2.5. Results indicate the currently implemented HSR system is inadvertently providing a ‘health halo’ for almost ¾ of UP foods and ½ of discretionary foods displaying an HSR. Future research should investigate whether the HSR scheme can be reformed to avoid misalignment with food-and diet-based indices.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/nu12051463
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 0908 Food Sciences
1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30137480

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.