In a response to growing concerns about obesity, the Health Star Rating was developed by the Australian, state and territory governments in collaboration with industry, public health and consumer groups. It’s a voluntary program, with foods displaying ratings from a half to five stars. The healthiness of foods is determined by an algorithm that assesses risk and positive nutrients in food.
The Health Star Rating can either show just the star rating of the product or can show the star rating plus additional specific nutrient content of the product. The system is being promoted as encouraging manufacturers to make products healthier. It acknowledges that governments can’t force people to eat healthy foods, but can play a role in providing tools to make healthy choices. By October 2015 there were more than 1500 products carrying a Health Star Rating on their packaging.