I listened to a discussion today on National Radio today about how Nestle is removing the 4.5 health star rating from Milo.
Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says Milo has a 4.5 star rating – out of a possible five stars – despite the fact it is almost 50 percent sugar. Product packaging also boasts pictures of active young sportspeople.
Milo’s high rating is based on the drink being made with skim milk. On its own, the powder only earns 1.5 stars.
“It’s the skim milk that boosts the number of stars. But our research found most milo drinkers prepare the drink with standard blue top or full-cream milk,” Ms Chetwin says.
The 4.5 star rating will disappear from Milo powder in June.
Health star guidelines let companies calculate the number of stars on an “as prepared” basis. This means a rating can reflect the nutritional components of the added ingredients, such as skim milk, rather than just the product itself.
Ms Chetwin says this rule undermines one of the main objectives of the rating system, which is to give consumers at-a-glance information about the nutrition content of a packaged food.
Consumer NZ has been campaigning to get rid of the “as prepared” loophole. It supports ratings being calculated on an “as sold” basis, with the exception of products that need to be drained or reconstituted with water.
To make sure consumers can trust the star ratings, Consumer NZ also wants caps on ratings for products high in sugar, saturated fat or sodium.
All good this and it asks the question "What about all the other shit that's sold in supermarkets under the guise of health, nutrition, naturalness etc.?"
Excess sugar consumption is a cause of onset diabetes and other serious health problems that cause death, disease and disfigurement as much as alcohol and tobacco does but producers still get away with this 'murder' by clever and cynical marketing.
The cigarette killers got their comeuppance some years ago and have to market their brands alongside scary images of the effects that using their products have.
|I used this 'nicer' image as the others are downright disturbing.|
Although, compared to tobacco and sugar the effects of wine are comparatively benign and some people think that there is no harm in it ....
..... while others think that the warnings don't go far enough:
When it comes to food products I'd like to see food manufacturers who sell product with excessive levels of sugar being made to carry big warnings on the packaging and not hide the information in unreadable tables on the back label or at the bottom of the packets.
They should be made to state the sugar content, in teaspoons, in big writing on the front of the label or package and have a bloody great big warning sign as well.