As I mentioned in my recent article about dietitians and the Dietitians Association of Australia, this organisation is "sponsored" by many food industry groups, "food" manufacturers like Nestle, McDonalds, Campbells, Arnotts and other non-healthy "food" companies. In return for this sponsorship, the DAA provides biased advice which is not based on current nutritional research, but helps to maintain the profits of their corporate sponsors. I have also written previously about the health star rating system (search for my post below), but this article is a different look at it.
What better proof of this biased (or corrupted) health rating system is to look at who was actually a part of this system. I'm sure this might surprise you! The organisations who decided on this rating system included:
- Government representatives - untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- NSW Food Authority - responsible for food safety, but untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- Australian Medical Association - representing some Australian doctors, untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- Choice - consumer group, untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- Australian Food and Grocery Council - an industry body for food manufacturers and suppliers, untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- Australian Industry Group - represents many industries and manufacturers, of which the spokesperson represented the confectionery industry in Australia and was the VP of the International Confectionery Association, untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- NZ Department of Primary Industries - responsible for food regulations. Spokesperson was trained as a dietitian... (which is not about nutrition or nutritional medicine)
- Australian Beverages Council - representing the manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverages (such as soft drinks, fruit juices, cordials etc - not "health" products are they?!), untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- Australian National Retail Association - representing retail, fast food and service industries, untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
- Obesity Policy Coalition - enforces laws to support obesity prevention - do we actually have any? Because they aren't working!
- Public Health Association of Australia - at last, some organisation which appears to have something to do with health! But it uses advice from government committees and organisations with a doctor and medical bias, again who are untrained in nutrition or nutritional medicine
This information is plain to see on the Health Star Rating System website (here: http://healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/Content/Acknowledgements)
As you can see from the design of this "health star rating" system, there is very little to no basis to do with real nutrition or your health, but almost all to do with the food industry and processed food corporations and maintaining their profits. This is very disappointing.
You should not use or rely on the "health star rating" system for your food choices. Ignore them and your health will be better for it! In fact, use this system in reverse, by selecting foods with a LOWER star rating for a better choice, and most of the time your choice will be a healthier one! Or better yet, choose foods which do not have a label and thus no rating system, like fresh, organic vegetables and fruit, and organic grass-fed animal products.