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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Health star rating under review

The Federal Government will give $2.5 million to the National Health and Medical Research Council to review the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the review of the guidelines, which were introduced in 2013, would ensure that advice is based on the best and most recent scientific evidence about the types and amount of food we need to have a long and healthy life.

“A healthy diet is essential to help lower the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity as well as chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancers,” Minister Hunt said.

“By preventing disease and the disease risk factors, significant suffering can be averted and the costs to our health system reduced.”

Since the 1980s, the Australian Dietary Guidelines have been a trusted source of information about healthy eating for consumers, health professionals, educators and the food industry, he said.

The NHMRC will soon begin the task of reviewing the dietary guidelines, with the first step being a review of the latest nutrition science research and evidence from Australia and overseas. Consultation with stakeholders will be undertaken throughout the review.

The Minister with portfolio responsibility for food regulation, Richard Colbeck, said, ensuring Australians had up-to-date information about diet and nutrition was important.

“The ability to choose food wisely will help contribute to a balanced diet and lead to better health,” Mr Colbeck said.

He said the Health Star Rating system featured on packaged grocery items was underpinned by dietary guidelines and it was important to ensure the system is based on robust and up to date evidence.

“This will ensure more Australians can stay on the right nutritional track and live better for longer.”

For more information about the current Australian Dietary Guidelines visit www.eatforhealth.gov.au.

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