The Health Star Rating System (HSR) is a voluntary Australian Government front-of-pack labelling system that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigns it a rating from ½ a star to 5 stars in ½ star increments. It provides a quick, easy, standard way to compare similar packaged foods. The more stars, the healthier the choice.
The rating is based on the nutrient profile of the food per 100g or mL. The HSR logo also gives information about some of the nutrients in the food, such as the energy (kJ), saturated fat, sugars and sodium and may include a positive nutrient such as protein, fibre or a vitamin or mineral. It is designed to complement the nutritional information panel (NIP)
The number of stars is determined using a calculator designed to assess positive and risk nutrients in food (The Health Star Rating Calculator). The algorithm that drives the calculator was developed in consultation with Food Standards Australia New Zealand and other technical and nutrition experts.
Food manufacturers and retailers are responsible for the correct and accurate use of the Health Star Rating system. This includes correctly calculating the Health Star Rating, accurately displaying nutrient information, ensuring consistency of information between the Health Star Rating and the Nutrition Information Panel, and complying with all relevant legislation and regulations.
Products that are part of the GI Symbol program have to meet strict nutrient criteria for energy (kJ), carbohydrate, saturated fat and sodium, and where appropriate, fibre and calcium. The criteria are consistent with International dietary guidelines and therefore all products in the program have a 3.5 star rating or higher.
The HSR does not incorporate total carbohydrate quantity or quality. The GI Symbol gives confidence to consumers that the quality of the carbohydrate has been taken into account.