How healthy star ratings work – Whiteboard Friday

Gareth MorganHealth5 Comments

This week we’ve seen a debate open up on the Government’s new healthy star ratings. Some argue that they should be ditched because they are endorsing packaged foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy. Others have defended the system as ‘not perfect but the best we’ve got‘. In this Whiteboard Friday we use milk as an example of how the system works in practice and how changes in nutritional content can affect star ratings.
The model can help consumers make better choices between packaged products, but it also can be gamed by manufacturers. Ultimately people need to understand what the star rating system means, and to know that real food – the stuff that doesn’t come in packages – is usually a healthier choice.




How healthy star ratings work – Whiteboard Friday was last modified: September 5th, 2016 by Gareth Morgan
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Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.

5 Comments on “How healthy star ratings work – Whiteboard Friday”

  1. The work has already been done
    Saturated fat is NOT bad for you
    The shift from nice tasty fats to sugars and carbs has been an absolute disaster!
    There never was any actual data that fats were bad for you

    How long will it be before the “fat is bad” zombie myth dies?
    Will we have to wait for a new generation of nutritionists to be born??

  2. And the sugar in milk is not fructose. Its the fructose sugar that is the real demon. Out bodies can deal with Glucose and Lactose quite nicely thank you can’t it? All sugars are not created equal. So whole milk should be way ahead of Chocolate milk with its presumably added Fructose shouldn’t it? These ratings really need updating, removing saturated fat from the ratings and correcting the sugar for just fructose.

  3. Children that drink whole milk are less, thats LESS’ likely to become overweight or obese or diabetic than children that drink skim. The science is all over this. Saturated fat has no downsides.

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