Popular kids’ cereals SLAMMED by Choice for too much added sugar
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Content Editor / June 25 2019
Consumer advocacy group Choice is demanding changes to the food health star rating system, claiming that buyers are not getting an accurate picture of which products have added sugar.
Choice has released its own health star rating model which accounts for added sugar. Using it, the health ratings of top-selling products like breakfast cereals plunge, 7News reports.
For example, Milo cereal has a four-star health rating, but under Choice’s new model which accounts for added sugar, this would drop to just 1.5 stars. Nutri-Grain would also lose 2.5 stars under the new model.
Other cereals in the firing line include Lowan Whole Foods Cocoa Bombs and Uncle Toby’s Plus.
According to Choice, the current star rating does not differentiate between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars, treating them all the same.
“Right now, the health star rating algorithm treats all sugars the same... it doesn't distinguish between extra sugar that's added to foods like breakfast cereals and naturally occurring sugars in dairy or fruits,” Choice food expert, Linda Przhedetsky, says.
“We're calling for health ministers introduce added sugar labelling on all packaged foods and to ensure that added sugar is more heavily penalised.”
Choice also wants to guarantee that industry is not having undue influence over food labelling policies.
“It's about making sure that people have transparency and all the information they need in order to be able to make informed choices about the food and drinks they buy,” Przhedetsky says.
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.