Rating the Health Star Ratings
Posted by: Caféstudy
9th May 2016 01:10pm
Following recent news stories questioning the way food brands and companies are using the health star ratings, we asked you your opinions on the subject. We wanted to know if and how health star ratings affect your purchase decisions, and whether or not you think it’s a good idea.
Many of you thought that easy to understand food labelling was important and should be mandatory. Healthy eating is clearly an issue that is important to you.
“It gives the consumer the choice at least to be more aware of what they are buying and consuming.”
“I think the food star system is an excellent start to letting us know what exactly we are eating.”
“After all the consumer is paying for the product, more ratings and labels, please.”
While the principle of health star ratings is supported by many of you, there is plenty of skepticism about how it works in practice.
A large group of you feel that the star ratings do not measure the “healthiness” of foods satisfactorily. You are dubious as to whether foods classified as healthy really are, and whether the ratings are a true indication of what is healthy and what is not.
“I don't always agree with the government's take on what constitutes healthy food.”
“I have some pretty strong ideas about what I want to eat, and I'm not sure my standards match those of the health star rating agency.”
“Some high (very high) levels of sugar are found in foods marked healthy!”
An even more serious concern is whether food companies can be trusted to label their food accurately. Many of you believe that large corporations will undermine the ratings system through misleading labelling.
“Honesty still does not exist so we still cannot believe what these labels display.”
“I don't trust food companies to be honest with their ratings any more than I trust a taxi driver.”
“The ratings scheme should be set and monitored by a body like the Heart Foundation and not the food companies themselves as they cannot be trusted.”
Interestingly, the place of origin of the food you eat is as important to you as the ingredients and nutritional composition of the food. People are clearly becoming more aware of what they buy, what they eat, and where it comes from. With more and more information about food available online, food companies will need to ensure they are completely honest about their products if they are to keep the trust of their customers.
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