Monday, 16 September 2019

Offering children a variety of vegetables increases Acceptance

Although food preferences are largely learned, dislike is the main reason parents stop offering or serving their children foods like vegetables. A new study demonstrated that repeatedly offering a variety of vegetables increased acceptance and consumption by children.

"In Australia, dietary guidelines for vegetable consumption by young children have increased although actual consumption is low."This study introduces an effective strategy for parents wanting to address this deficiency."
This study recruited 32 families with children between the ages of four and six where low consumption of vegetables was reported. Parents completed an online survey and attended an information meeting prior to participating. Three groups were created: children introduced to a single vegetable; children to receive multiple vegetables; and a group where eating habits were not changed.
Study data were collected in several ways: two dinner meals served at the research facility during which children could eat as much of the broccoli, cauliflower and green beans as they wished; changes to actual vegetables consumed at home, childcare or school recorded through food diaries; and parents reporting on usual vegetable consumption.

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Strategies of offering vegetables were parent led and home based. Families introducing one vegetable served broccoli and families trying multiple vegetables served broccoli, zucchini and peas. Parents were provided with a voucher to purchase the vegetables and given instructions on portion size and cooking instructions along with tips on how to offer the vegetables. Children were served a small piece of vegetable three times a week for five weeks. A sticker was given as a reward to children trying a vegetable.
There was no difference between groups at the start of the study for any of the methods measured. The dinner meal, during which the children ate without parents present, did not increase consumption perhaps due to an unfamiliar setting. Vegetable acceptance increased for both the single and multiple vegetable groups during the intervention. Families that offered multiple vegetables recorded an increase in consumption from .6 to 1.2 servings, while no change in consumption was observed in families serving a single vegetable or families that did not change their eating habits. Increased acceptance for multiple vegetables was noted during the five weeks of the study and sustained at three-month followup. Following the study parents reported that offering the vegetables was "very easy" or "quite easy" with the majority following the instructions provided by the study.

Friday, 13 September 2019

How to check Water Adulteration in Milk by using Lactometer in Home

Milk is a common drink of our daily diet. But mostly time, it may have Urea, Formalin, Vanaspati, Starch and water as impurity. Packed milk from brands as well as milk purchased from milk-vendors can be adulterated so it is always better to check for them before consuming.

Water turns out to be the most common adulterant in milk. It reduces the nutritional value of milk. If contaminated, water poses a health risk to consumers. 

How to check water adulteration in Milk by using lactometer :

A lactometer measures the density of milk. It tells the user how much water is in the milk that is being sampled. This is an instrument used to determine the richness of milk.

Lactometer : Measure the amount of water in the milk. A Lactometer is used to find out the amount of water in the milk. It works on the principle of specific gravity of milk. It consists of a Test-Tube and a Meter Bulb.

Using this instrument is very simple. Put some milk in the test-tube. Dip the meter bulb in it, the bulb going in first. You will notice that the meter bulb floats. The reading on the meter indicates how pure/impure your milk is.

The deeper the bulb sinks, the more dilute/impure the milk. If the reading is at the red mark, it shows that the milk is rich and pure.

Milk is one of the most important ingredients for children's overall development, it is essential for adult health as well. Milk is also widely used in food item like desserts, baking, tea and coffee etc.

Most of the commonly used adulterant for milk includes Detergent, White Paint, Caustic Soda, Refined Oil and glucose

The most common reason for milk adulteration is the difference between demand and supply of milk. In order to meet the demand, the suppliers usually adulterate the milk and increase the quantity.

The adulterants like Salt, Detergents and glucose add to the thickness and viscosity of the milk while starch prevents curdling of milk

These adulterants are hazardous and cause irreversible damage to the human body. 

The detergents in milk caused food poisoning and gastrointestinal complications. The other synthetic compounds cause impairments, heart problems and cancer.

Due to lack of hygiene in milk handling and packaging, detergents (used during cleaning operations) are not washed properly and find their way into the milk. Other contaminants like urea, starch, glucose, formalin along with detergent are used as adulterants. These adulterants are used to increase the thickness and viscosity of the milk as well as to preserve it for a longer period. 

Water turned out to be the most common adulterant in milk. It reduces the nutritional value of milk. If contaminated (with pesticides, heavy metals), water poses a health risk to consumers

Adulteration of water in milk is so common in India. But it is not much toxic to health as adulteration of drinking water is.

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Water Adulteration Test in Milk without Lactometer :

1) Slip Test :
To identify adulteration from water, a simple test is milk slip test. Run the drop of milk on smooth or polished surface. Pure milk leaves some residue or traces behind. However, milk mixed with water will simply flow out. 2) Reduction Test : Boil milk on slow heat for 2-3 hours till it solidifies and become hard (khoya). Rock solid, rough residue means the milk is adulterated while oily residue means its of good quality.3) Checking for Synthetic Milk : Synthetic milk is made by mixing chemicals and things like soap in natural milk. Synthetic milk can be easily identified by bad taste. It feels soapy when rubbed and turns yellowish when heated.

Note :

  •  Salt and detergents are added to adjust lactometer reading to add thickness to the milk.
  • Contaminate milk can be countered by ensuring proper sanitation and hygiene at all processing stages as well as by boiling and pasteurizing milk properly.
  • Nitrogenous compounds are added to artificially enhance the taste of protein in milk.
  • Synthetic milk turns yellowish on heating. With some experience, one can easily make out whether it is pure natural milk or a synthetic liquid sold as milk.
  • One of the most common form of adulteration in milk is mixing of urea as it does not changes the taste and is little difficult to detect.
Make sure you boil the milk on slow flame till boiling point. Avoid re-boiling milk as it brings down the nutritional value of milk.
 While the easiest way to adulterate milk is by adding water, reagents and prohibited neutralizers like hydrated lime, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate are added to milk to prevent spoilage
One really can not do anything when it comes to the packed pasteurized milk. Such products undergo a series of processes and it is hard to trace the point of adulteration. 

 Since the adulteration techniques have advanced these days so it is very difficult to identify adulteration. You can not find any adulteration until you use some catalyst to check its purity.

There were 37 pure Indian breeds and due to foreign activist’s effort almost all the breeds are now extinguished with only few breeds left.

Mixing water in milk is a common practice by local milkman. Having harmful elements like Urea, Carbonates and Bicarbonates, salt, sugar, Hydrogen Peroxide, Neutralizers (NaHCO3, Na2 CO3, NaOH, Ca(OH)etc.), sodium chloride, etc. added to our everyday drink is completely unacceptable. 

In future, we will have a GPS-based technology that could be used to track the exact location where the milk supplied in the cold chain has been tampered with so it will help to stop milk adulteration in packaged milk.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Enough of diabetic diet -let’s focus on reversing diabetes

You are not alone. There are more than 422 million people in the world along with you are struggling to manage blood sugar level.
You can be the one. Data suggests there will be more than 470 million pre-diabetes (blood sugar in between normal and diabetic range) by 2030.
If you are a diabetic, regular medication, restrictions with diabetic diet have probably made your life bitter, dull or full of guilt.
However, the good news is science has proved that you can reverse diabetes at any time. Yes, gone are those days when you were told to deal with diabetes for the rest of your life. So do you think wasting time following the diabetic diet plan is a good idea anymore?
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What is a diabetic diet?

It is all about restriction- for the rest of your life. It is all about
• don’t eat anything sweet.
• Eat the least amount of carbohydrate
• Eat more protein.

Right? In other word,

• Stop eating almost everything you like, as 80% of your favourite foods are sweet to some extent.
• Eat a spoon of rice, or better stop rice completely. Eat one roti a day instead.
• Never eat potatoes – they are poisons
• Eat only boiled vegetables, soup, and salads.
• Eat bitter kinds of stuff to balance your blood sugar
But you are smart and medicine companies are smarter. They have designed zero calorie sweeteners to bring back all the sweetness in your life. And you are probably using them regularly to your tea/ coffee and even to make desserts. Right?
Have you noticed, during parties or social gathering, the person who focuses mostly on dessert table is generally a diabetic?

What’s wrong with diabetic patients?

The breakup of the relationship between insulin and blood sugar leads to develop diabetes. Insulin is the key factor which helps to transport sugar from the blood to cells. In type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin whereas, in type 2(the common form), the body stop responding to insulin and later starts producing less insulin.
We eat to fulfil our satiety, to nourish our body and mind. That’s what lack during diabetes. Carbohydrate after digestion split into simple sugar and absorbed in the bloodstream but unable to get into the cells to release energy and nourish the body. Therefore your cells stay hungry, undernourished and lack of energy. That means you need support to –

• control your blood sugar and,
• enhance your insulin response

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A diabetic diet is a myth
The study says, overweight or obese people have a greater risk of diabetes and diabetic patients are much likely to develop hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. That means fixing one problem will help to prevent others.
Actually, a “true” diabetic diet is nothing but a normal healthy diet which irrespective of having diabetes or not, one should always follow. Therefore restricting yourself to any “fad” diabetic diet is not a wise choice.

If not a diabetic diet then what to eat for preventing, controlling and reversing?
Eat a balanced diet. Your cells are hungry for nutrition. Focus on quality than quantity. Do not worsen the situation with the bad quality huge amount of food rather practice eating less but consume only good quality food. You must be thinking, what is good quality food? No, I am not pointing out towards expensive or exotic foods. Have trust in your kitchen. Indulge in homemade food.
Not a diabetic diet – 1. No more “no sugar”
Yes, you read that right. Be smart to pick your sugar. You can satisfy your taste buds with a limited amount of sugar. But be wise enough to pick the right sugar. Don’t eat any sugary item alone; eat it as a part of the meal during breakfast or lunch. There are three types of sugar.
1. Natural sugar – It includes mainly fruits and vegetables. Feel free to satisfy your sweet cravings with a moderate amount of natural sugar. You can finish your meal with a few pieces of sweet fruits (mango, custard apple, banana, apple, grapes, oranges, lemon, lime, pomegranate etc.) to satisfy your sweet tooth. Eat only one variety a day and try eating at least 3-4 varieties of fruits in a week. Just remember not to overeat.

2. Processed sugar– It is the normal sugar that we get from sugar cane or beetroot. Jaggery also comes under this category though it is traditionally made and less processed. It is okay to include 1 -2 teaspoons of sugar or jaggery in the daily diet. So if you struggle to drink tea/coffee without sugar you can think of adding one or half spoon to it.
3. Ultra-processed sugar products – Ultra processed sugar products can be categorized into – sugary junk and junk with hidden sugar. Both the category is a strict “no” for all.
Sugary junk includes- carbonated beverages, frozen dessert, factory-made cake, chocolate, donut, pastry, brownie, canned fruit juices, cookies, biscuits etc. You can recognize them easily.
Junk with hidden sugar– They are relatively difficult to spot. Most of your (actually all) healthy breakfast cereals, cornflakes, muesli, protein bar, granola, salad dressing, dips, spreads, sauce etc. are comes under this category. Do not fall in the trap of “no sugar” or “zero sugar”. Food companies use at least 65 names for sugar. So even if sugar as in s-u-g-a-r is not mentioned on the label, be assured the products are loaded with sugar with a different name.
Being diabetic you must not even think of this category. Remember these foods are designed to be addictive and you can’t stop having a single small bite. Even a single bite also loaded with sugar that your body cannot afford. So the best way to control is not buying them at all.
Depressed? Don’t buy them but make them at home. Yes, a piece of homemade cake is far better than having it from outside. Any of the homemade versions contains at least 3 times less sugar than the purchased one. But remember, I have said, one piece once a while.

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Not a diabetic diet –2. Choose quality over quantity for carbohydrates
If you are diabetic, what not you have tried right? You have probably replaced your rice with roti, stopped carbohydrate completely and what not. No, you don’t have to try this hard. All you need to do is focus on your carbohydrate quality over quantity.

Limit consumption of simple carbs – rice, roti, noodles, pasta, bread etc. Add complex carbohydrate, dietary fibre -whole grain, vegetables etc.
Overdoing on whole grain is also not advised. Generally, diabetic patients have multiple other health issues- digestive problems, flatulence, acidity etc. Therefore replacing simple carbs completely with whole grain may worsen the situation. Whole grains take a longer time to digest and release sugar slowly. But remember simple carbs are much lighter on our stomach and easily absorbed. We never eat any simple carbohydrate (rice/roti) alone, we mix it with legumes/ pulses/ vegetables/curd which automatically improves the glycemic index and give lower glycemic load on our body. Consider taking steel cut oats on daily diet.
Let complex carbohydrate (brown rice/ millets/ vegetables) be an important part of your diet along with simple carbs (white rice/ wheat -products).
Not a diabetic diet –3. Go for good fat
Fat is not bad. In fact, all fats are not bad. Fat is essential for our daily diet. Do you know each of our cells contains an essential fat lining (PLP layer)? But you need to be wise enough to choose the good fat. Stop eating processed junk. That gives you a load of bad fat for sure. Instead of going for refined oils, choose cold pressed (kachhi ghani) oils. Groundnut oil, coconut oil, mustard oils are the best choice for Indian cooking. Do not bank on particular oil for long. Add variety even in case of choosing oil. Add 1-2 teaspoons of ghee (clarified butter) to your meals to give more stable blood glucose level. Always choose good fat over sugar. Yes, that’s the trick.
Not a diabetic diet –4. Stop panicking over protein
Diabetic diet has almost become synonymous to high protein diet. Don’t panic over protein. You were surviving well ever before the high protein concept hit the market. So relax. If you are a vegetarian add variety of pulses, legumes, sprouts, milk, nuts, and seeds your diet. No, you will not be devoid of any amino acids. Just remember to keep the variety. Do not bank on a particular type of pulse, sprouts or seeds. Include many, include less. Consider including sattu in daily diet.
If you are not a vegetarian, you don’t have to start eating 6 egg whites and grilled chicken. Eat fish, egg, chicken, meat but in limitation. Combine animal protein with plant protein. Add variety as much as possible. Remember chicken or meat or fish should be a part of your diet along with cereal, pulses, fruits, vegetables etc. So keep it as just a part.

Not a diabetic diet –5. How much to eat?
It is your body. It is your stomach. You should be well aware of yourself. Food portion size varies from person to person. Your palm size, your fist along with your stomach and brain should guide you on how much to eat.
The thumb rule is – 1/4th of your plate should contain cereal (rice/roti/ bread/ pasta/noodles etc.). The other 1/4th should be covered with pulse/legumes/sprouts/ milk/milk products/chicken/fish/egg/meat/seeds/nuts. More than the other 1/4th should be covered with vegetables and less than the last quarter to be filled with fruits.
You should be feeling energetic after a meal if you have eaten the right amount. If you feel sleepy after a meal, be sure you have overeaten way too much.

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Not a diabetic diet –6. Eating tips
1. Chew your food, eat slow
2. Concentrate on food while eating
3. Do not get distracted while eating
4. Plan your meal, arrange your grocery to avoid unnecessary outside eating
5. Try to maintain a fixed time for each meal
6. Remember, there is no control over quality and quantity while eating outside food.
7. Finish your dinner before 8.30 pm
8. Drink enough water every day
9. Write a diet diary every night to stay focused on the healthy diet
10. Indian spices contain medicinal properties. Add cinnamonturmeric, fenugreek etc. to daily diet for better blood sugar control.                                                                                                                                  
11. Do not become dependent on artificial sweetener. Remember after all they are also chemicals.
Not a diabetic diet – 7. Deep sleep is essential
Yes, not an only diet. Reversing diabetes depends on your overall lifestyle. Diabetes is nothing but hormonal imbalance. Your body needs good 8 hours of deep sleep to reset the hormonal balance. Sleep is not a luxury. It is a necessity to control your blood sugar. If you are suffering from insomnia, try yoga, meditation or other therapy to fix your sleep cycle like a normal human being.
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Not a diabetic diet – 8. Physical activity and exercise
Just like sleep, physical activity and exercise have a huge role to play to create the hormonal balance. You need to concentrate on improving your general fitness to control the blood sugar and to achieve a better insulin response.
Not a diabetic diet – 9. Manage your stress
Today life is stressful for everybody. Every one of us has our own fair share of stress and struggle. Tremendous stress and negativity are well enough to limit your insulin secretion and messing up the hormonal balance. Good sleep, physical activity, exercises and of course a healthy wholesome diet helps to manage your stress level. You must learn to handle your stress. If you can’t take help. There is a various way to do it.

Bottom Line –
diabetic diet should not be only about restrictions. As a human being, we lack half of our motivation while emphasize been given only on “don’t”. Reversing diabetes is a proven fact. There are thousands of successful case studies around the globe. All you need is motivation. Stop believing -once diabetes is always diabetes. Adopt positive lifestyle changes. Not only diet, you need to focus on your stress, sleep, activity and exercise. There is no short cut or quick fix to it. The diabetic diet plan is nothing but a healthy diet plan which is the same for everybody. So if you are not a diabetic, you must not wait to become diabetic to follow the dietary guideline. Prevention is always better than cure. So don’t wait. Start adopting it.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

What is Chemistry of Food and Bio-processed Materials?

Chemistry of Food is the study of chemical processes and interactions of all biological and non-biological components of foods. Examples of biological substances are meat, poultry, lettuce, beer, and milk. It is similar to biochemistry in its main components such as carbohydrates, lipids, and protein, but it also includes areas such as water, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, food additives, flavours, and colours. This discipline also includes how products get modified under certain food processing techniques and methods either to enhance or to prevent them from happening.

What is Food Technology?

  • Food technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe food.
  • Related fields include analytical chemistry, biotechnology, engineering, nutrition, quality control, and food safety management.

What is Food Research?

Food research is the careful, systematic study, investigation, and compilation of information about foods and their components.

What is Food Manufacturing? Food manufacturing is the mass production of food products from raw animal and plant materials, using principles of food technology.

What is Product Development?

Product development is the creation of new flavors, colors or varieties of existing products and/or the creation of entirely new products.
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What is Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

Both quality assurance and quality control involve the process of ensuring that products are manufactured correctly and that ingredients and finished products are tested and meet safety and quality specifications.

What is Food Regulation?

Food regulation is the process of determining standards for products, defining safety, and inspecting products. Regulations are set by governments.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Poor diet can lead to blindness

Nutrition is the selection of foods and preparation of foods, and their ingestion to be assimilated by the body. By practicing a healthy diet, many of the known health issues can be avoided. The diet of an organism is what it eats, which is largely determined by the perceived palatability of foods. Dietitians are health professionals who specialize in human nutrition, meal planning, economics, and preparation. They are trained to provide safe, evidence-based dietary advice and management to individuals, as well as to institutions. Clinical nutritionists are health professionals who focus more specifically on the role of nutrition in chronic disease, including possible prevention or remediation by addressing nutritional deficiencies before resorting to drugs. Government regulation of the use of this professional title is less universal than for “dietitian.” A poor diet may have an injurious impact on health, causing deficiency diseases such as scurvy and kwashiorkor; health-threatening conditions like obesity and metabolic syndrome; and such common chronic systemic diseases as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

French fries (stock image). | Credit: © Pixelbliss /

Nutritional optic neuropathy is a dysfunction of the optic nerve which is important for vision. The condition is reversible, if caught early. But, left untreated, it can lead to permanent structural damage to the optic nerve and blindness.

The most common causes of nutritional optic neuropathy are bowel problems or drugs that interfere with the absorption of various important nutrients from the stomach. Purely dietary causes are less common because food supply is good, but elsewhere in the world, poverty, war and drought are linked to malnutrition and higher rates of nutritional optic neuropathy.

The researchers concluded that the patient's 'junk food' diet and limited intake of nutritional vitamins and minerals resulted in the onset of nutritional optic neuropathy. They suggest the condition could become more prevalent in future, given the widespread consumption of 'junk food' at the expense of more nutritious options, and the rising popularity of veganism if the vegan diet is not supplemented appropriately to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.

Dietary history should be part of any routine clinical examination like asking about smoking and alcohol intake. This may avoid a diagnosis of nutritional optic neuropathy being missed or delayed as some associated visual loss can fully recover if the nutritional deficiencies are treated early enough.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

The Paleozoic diet: Why animals eat what they eat

What an animal eats is a fundamental aspect of its biology, but surprisingly, the evolution of diet had not been studied across the animal kingdom until now. Scientists at the University of Arizona report several unexpected findings from taking a deep dive into the evolutionary history of more than one million animal species and going back 800 million years, when the first animals appeared on our planet.

Many species living today that are carnivorous, meaning they eat other animals, can trace this diet back to a common ancestor more than 800 million years ago.
A plant-based, or herbivorous, diet is not the evolutionary driver for new species that it was believed to be. Closely related animals tend to share the same dietary category -- plant-eating, meat-eating, or both. This finding implies that switching between dietary lifestyles is not something that happens easily and often over the course of evolution.
 A species was classified as carnivorous if it feeds on other animals, fungi or protists (single-celled eukaryotic organisms, many of which live on bacteria). Species were classified as herbivorous if they depend on land plants, algae or cyanobacteria for food, and omnivorous if they eat a mixture of carnivorous and herbivorous diets.

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The scientists then mapped the vast data set of animal species and their dietary preferences onto an evolutionary tree built from DNA-sequence data to untangle the evolutionary relationships between them.
All species can be classified according to their evolutionary relationships, a concept that is known as phylogeny. Organisms are grouped into taxa, which define their interrelationships across several levels. For example, cats and dogs are different species but belong to the same order (carnivores). Similarly, horses and camels belong to a different order (ungulates.) Both orders, however, are part of the same class (mammals). On the highest level, animals are classified in phyla. Examples of animal phyla are arthropods (insects, crustaceans, spiders, scorpions and the like), mollusks (snails, clams and squid fall into this phylum), and chordates, which include all animals with a backbone, including humans.
The survey suggests that across animals, carnivory is most common, including 63% of species. Another 32% are herbivorous, while humans belong to a small minority, just 3%, of omnivorous animals.
Herbivore has traditionally been seen as a powerful catalyst for the origin of new species -- an often-cited example is the insects, with an estimated 1.5 million described species the most diverse group among the arthropods. Many new species of flowering plants appeared during the Cretaceous period, about 130 million years ago, and the unprecedented diversity of flowers is widely thought to have coincided with an increase in insect species taking advantage of the newly available floral bounty.
"There is a big difference between eating leaves all the time and eating fruits every now and then," Wiens said. "The specializations required to be an efficient herbivore or carnivore might explain why the two diets have been so conserved over hundreds of millions of years."

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Unhealthy products are gaming flawed health star food rating

WE KNOW that when it comes to buying groceries, we should stock up on vegetables and steer clear of the $1.99 Tim Tams tempting us right in front of the aisle.
But when it comes to identifying which packaged foods are good choices, choosing the healthier option isn’t always clear.
Three years ago, the federal government launched the Health Star Rating System, which resulted in some supermarket products being rated a certain number of stars based on particular nutritional criteria.
Despite some superficial success, there is plenty more criticism to suggest that the system is fundamentally flawed and in urgent need of major review.
So what is actually wrong with the Health Star Rating System?

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A complex nutritional algorithm has been formulated in an attempt to weigh up the good and not so good nutrients a particular food offers. But its failure to isolate specific ingredients such as sugar within this calculation, has resulted in some foods which are naturally higher in saturated fat (like full cream dairy) having a lower rating than lower fat, yet heavily processed foods including snack food and confectionery.
The classic example of this can be seen in the case of Greek yogurt — a natural whole food -which scores just one star using the rating system, compared to a bag of lollies which scores two stars.
It is hardly surprising that you can find frozen vegetables, healthy snack foods and bottled water with five stars, but many packets of lollies, biscuits and chips have no Health Star Rating at all. For any public health nutritional guidance system that has the goal of directing consumers towards healthy food choices to work, all foods need to be labelled so consumers can easily compared across products and brands.