Food companies urged to come clean on breakfast cereals

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Consumer advocacy group Choice is urging food companies to come clean on the nutritional value of their breakfast cereals. While some manufacturers have swiftly embraced the governments’ voluntary Health Star Rating system, others are yet to reveal how their cereals stack up.

We recently told you about the new Health Star Rating system, which food manufacturers can now voluntarily include on the front of their packaging. Developed by Australian state and territory governments, the scheme is being overseen by the likes of Choice, the Obesity Policy Coalition and the Public Health Association of Australia.

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It rates a food item from half to five stars, the more stars the healthier it is. Several high profile food manufactures have been lambasted for failing to sign-on to the voluntary scheme, which is touted to become compulsory in four years.

Choice is applauding Australian food manufacturers which have already adopted the system, saying: “We congratulate the food companies that have taken the initiative and have health stars already on their packs”.

Companies like Uncle Tobys have been singled out for becoming “involved, with products already displaying stars and many more on the way”. (Tom Godfrey, Choice spokesperson) 

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As a guide, we’ve chosen five Uncle Tobys cereals, at three different star ratings to demonstrate how the system works.

One of the most popular cereals when it comes to kids is Cheerios. The package already indicates the cereal is high in wholegrains, but with the new Health Star Rating we can also see that it attracts a four star rating. That includes the original and honey versions.

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It’s important to point out that the Health Star Rating is determined by looking at energy, saturated fat, total sugars, sodium, protein, dietary fibre and fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content.

One of Australia’s childhood favourite cereals would have to be Vita Brits Weeties. And just because it’s a favourite with kids, it doesn’t mean it isn’t nutritious. In fact, Weeties has attracted a four and a half star rating. So too has another cereal kids love – Vita Brits.

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Finally, we get to the ultimate contenders – the five out of five star rated cereals. And the perfect winter warmer – Uncle Tobys Oats, have proven to be a great, balanced start to the day for kids. And parents will be thrilled to learn this also includes Uncle Tobys Oats Quick – which means a super easy breakfast need not lack in nutritional value.

To see how your favourite Uncle Tobys cereals stacks up against the Health Star Rating system, head to Uncle Tobys.

(This is a sponsored post for Uncle Tobys)

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