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Defining Unhealthy: A Systematic Analysis of Alignment between the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Health Star Rating System
George Inst Global Hlth, Australia; Univ Sydney, Australia.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Primary Care Center, Primary Health Care Center Ödeshög. George Inst Global Hlth, Australia.
George Inst Global Hlth, Australia; Univ Sydney, Australia; Imperial Coll London, England.
2018 (English)In: Nutrients, ISSN 2072-6643, E-ISSN 2072-6643, Vol. 10, no 4, article id 501Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs) and Health Star Rating (HSR) front-of-pack labelling system are two national interventions to promote healthier diets. Our aim was to assess the degree of alignment between the two policies. Methods: Nutrition information was extracted for 65,660 packaged foods available in The George Institutes Australian FoodSwitch database. Products were classified core or discretionary based on the ADGs, and a HSR generated irrespective of whether currently displayed on pack. Apparent outliers were identified as those products classified core that received HSR amp;lt;= 2.0; and those classified discretionary that received HSR amp;gt;= 3.5. Nutrient cut-offs were applied to determine whether apparent outliers were high in salt, total sugar or saturated fat, and outlier status thereby attributed to a failure of the ADGs or HSR algorithm. Results: 47,116 products (23,460 core; 23,656 discretionary) were included. Median (Q1, Q3) HSRs were 4.0 (3.0 to 4.5) for core and 2.0 (1.0 to 3.0) for discretionary products. Overall alignment was good: 86.6% of products received a HSR aligned with their ADG classification. Among 6324 products identified as apparent outliers, 5246 (83.0%) were ultimately determined to be ADG failures, largely caused by challenges in defining foods as core or discretionary. In total, 1078 (17.0%) were determined to be true failures of the HSR algorithm. Conclusion: The scope of genuine misalignment between the ADGs and HSR algorithm is very small. We provide evidence-informed recommendations for strengthening both policies to more effectively guide Australians towards healthier choices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI , 2018. Vol. 10, no 4, article id 501
Keywords [en]
nutrient profiling; front-of-pack labelling; dietary guidelines; nutrition policy; health star rating
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-149747DOI: 10.3390/nu10040501ISI: 000435182900117PubMedID: 29670024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-149747DiVA, id: diva2:1233912
Note

Funding Agencies|Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship; National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia [APP1106947]; NHMRC [APP1052555]; Centre for Research excellence [APP1117300]; County Council of Ostergotland

Available from: 2018-07-20 Created: 2018-07-20 Last updated: 2019-04-12

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