25 August 2017
Healthier Lives Deputy Director Cliona Ni Mhurchu is the lead researcher in a new study examining the influence of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system on packaged food products.
It appears that the star ratings are encouraging revisions of formulations of some products. The study found about 80% of the products examined had been reformulated to some extent, and small but significant favourable changes were seen in mean energy, sodium and fibre contents, compared with composition of the same products prior to adoption of HSR.
Professor Ni Mhurchu says that while early indications of healthier product reformulation are promising, far greater uptake of the HSR system by industry, and adoption across the full breadth of the packaged food supply, are necessary for such reformulation to impact population diets in a healthful way.
The research was funded jointly by a programme grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
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