Health Star Rating resources
Learn more about how the Health Star Ratings were developed.
The science behind Health Star Ratings
Packaged foods are given Health Star Ratings based on their nutrient content. Food companies calculate ratings for their products using an online calculator developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand and other technical and nutrition experts.
Calculating the rating
The calculator assesses how much energy, saturated fat, sodium (salt) and sugar a food contains. Beneficial components of a food, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes (like lentils and chickpeas) are also considered. And, where present in foods, dietary fibre and protein content are included in the calculation.
Points are allocated based on the quantities of these components in 100g or 100ml of the food, and these are converted into a Health Star Rating. Ratings can range from half a star to 5 stars.
Health Star Ratings for products within a food category can vary significantly depending on the nutrient content of each individual product.
One of the aims of Health Star Ratings is to encourage manufacturers to make their foods healthier. Manufacturers can do this by changing the ingredients or recipes.
For extra technical information refer to:
Research reports and papers
- New Zealand research report: The ability of New Zealand consumers to use the Health Star Rating System
- Research that helped inform the development of the Australian consumer campaign about Health Star Ratings
- The Australian consumer campaign about Health Star Ratings
Other resources and websites
- FAQs – Australian Health Star Rating website
- Nutrition and Activity website
- Healthy Families NZ website