Journal article

Development of Australia's front‐of‐pack interpretative nutrition labelling Health Star Rating system: lessons for public health advocates

Healthy food Labeling Food industry and trade Public health Food consumption Australia
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DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12906 65 KB


Objectives: To draw advocacy lessons from actions undertaken by public health groups to assist the development of Australia and New Zealand's Health Star Rating (HSR) front‐of‐pack nutrition labelling system.

Methods: The advocacy approaches undertaken by the Public Health Association of Australia leading up to the time of the adoption of the HSR is examined using a 10 step advocacy framework. Key roles in advocacy planning and implementation are described, along with coordinating efforts by health and consumer groups during the HSR development processes.

Results: HSR aims to support consumers to make informed choices to protect from diet‐related diseases, including obesity. The HSR launched despite a number of major obstacles, owing to a strategic, coordinated advocacy effort undertaken by a guiding coalition.

Conclusions: Actions to improve nutrition are often highly contested, particularly if the desired outcome competes with commercial interests. However, by deploying a structured approach to public health advocacy, it is possible to influence government, despite opposition from commercial interests.

Implications for public health: A shared vision and a coordinated effort by public health professionals enabled advocates to overcome undue commercial influence.

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