Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise can help you live longer, improve your physical and mental health, and get more out of life.

Australia’s Healthy Weight Week is an annual event run by the Dietitians Association of Australia to inspire all Aussies to achieve a healthier weight and lifestyle. Healthy Weight Week focusses on getting the right advice and support to people looking to be a healthy weight. With many Australians aspiring to eat better in the New Year, the 2016 campaign (15-21 February 2016) aims to inspire people to cook at home more often to achieve a healthier weight.

Maintaining a healthy body weight is a matter of balancing the energy we put into our bodies with the energy that we use up during our daily activities, including for exercise. Research suggests that Australians are not getting this balance right, and as a nation we are getting fatter as a result of too little physical activity and too many kilojoules.

Poor diet and the alarming incidence of overweight and obesity in Australia predisposes us to largely preventable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The Health Star Rating can be used as a helpful tool to take some of the guesswork out of shopping for packaged and processed products.

It provides easy to read labels on the front of packaging giving a rating on the overall nutritional profile of the food. This helps you compare similar foods to select the healthier product. The more stars featured on a product, the healthier it is.

The Health Star Rating of each product is based on the amount of saturated fat, sugar and sodium it contains per 100g or 100ml, as well as its total energy (kilojoules).

Products may score extra points and potentially higher ratings depending on the quantity of positive ingredients they contain such as fibre, fruit, vegetables and protein.

To better understand the importance of healthy eating and for more information on how to use the Health Star Rating System, visit the
Health Star Rating website.