A recent George Institute study identified the Health Star Rating as one of the most useful and nutritionally informative food labelling systems.

In March this year, Professor Bruce Neal, senior director of the food policy division at The George Institute for Global Health, presented results of a randomised trial about the Health Star Rating system at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.

The randomised trial was run to compare the impact of the Health Star Rating system on consumer food choices against existing food labelling systems.

The results showed it is likely that the Health Star Rating system will result in healthier food choices than the nutrient information label. It is absolutely clear that the Health Star Rating system was far preferred to other labelling formats by consumers.

Professor Neal said that the Health Star Rating system is now the labelling format with the strongest evidence base and the Australian Governments’ choice to implement this system was probably quite reasonable.

A total of 3,638 individuals participated in the trial via a smartphone app.

After a one week initial period of scanning food with the app, 1,578 people were randomly chosen to make food purchases based on one of five labelling formats for four weeks.

Participants assigned the Health Star Rating system gave it higher ratings for nutrition knowledge and usefulness of all the labels and said it had a higher ease of understanding.