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A Nutrient Profiling Assessment of Packaged Foods Using Two Star-Based Front-of-Pack Labels

Citation

Carrad, Amy M.; Louie, Jimmy Chun Yu; Yeatman, Heather R.; Dunford, Elizabeth K.; Neal, Bruce C.; & Flood, Victoria M. (2016). A Nutrient Profiling Assessment of Packaged Foods Using Two Star-Based Front-of-Pack Labels. Public Health Nutrition, 19(12), 2165-2174.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To compare two front-of-pack nutrition labelling systems for the assessment of packaged foods and drinks with Australian Dietary Guidelines.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional nutrient profiling assessment. Food and drink products (n 20 225) were categorised into scoring levels using criteria for the Institute of Medicine (IOM) three-star system and the five-star Australian Health Star Rating (HSR). The effectiveness of these systems to categorise foods in accordance with Australian Dietary Guidelines was explored.
SETTING: The study was conducted in Australia, using a comprehensive food database.
SUBJECTS: Packaged food and drink products (n 20 225) available in Australia.
RESULTS: Using the IOM three-star system, the majority (55 %) of products scored the minimum 0 points and 25.5 % scored the maximum 3 points. Using HSR criteria, the greatest proportion of products (15.2 %) scored three-and-a-half stars from a possible five and 12.5 % received the lowest rating of a half-star. Very few products (4.1 %) scored five stars. Products considered core foods and drinks in Australian Dietary Guidelines received higher scores than discretionary foods in all food categories for both labelling systems (all P<0.05; Mann-Whitney U test), with the exception of fish products using IOM three-star criteria (P=0.603). The largest discrepancies in median score between the two systems were for the food categories edible oils, convenience foods and dairy.
CONCLUSIONS: Both the IOM three-star and Australian HSR front-of-pack labelling systems rated packaged foods and drinks broadly in line with Australian Dietary Guidelines by assigning core foods higher ratings and discretionary foods lower ratings.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1368980015002748

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2016

Journal Title

Public Health Nutrition

Author(s)

Carrad, Amy M.
Louie, Jimmy Chun Yu
Yeatman, Heather R.
Dunford, Elizabeth K.
Neal, Bruce C.
Flood, Victoria M.