What is the Health Star Rating?

The Health Star Rating (HSR) is a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labelling system for packaged food and drinks. It's designed to help you make healthier choices as you shop. The star ratings range from ½ to 5 stars and rate the nutritional profile of the product — the more stars, the healthier the product choice.


How are Health Star Ratings calculated?

Health Star Ratings are calculated based on a product's:

  • Energy content (kilojoules)
  • Positive nutrients and ingredients that support general health including protein and fibre, as well as fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content
  • 'Risk' nutrients including sodium and saturated fat and sugar, that when consumed in high amounts are linked with poor health outcomes

Learn more about how Health Star Ratings are calculated here.


How should I use Health Star Ratings?

Health Star Ratings help you make healthier choices when choosing between similar products within the same category. You'll find HSR on the front of some packaged foods at Woolworths, making it easier to compare the nutritional content at a glance and quickly choose the product that's right for you. For example, a protein bar with five stars is a healthier choice compared to a protein bar with two stars.

Further information about the nutritional value of a product can be found in the Nutrition Information Panel, generally on the back of the packaging. For additional guidance on how to consume a healthy balanced diet, check out the Australian Dietary Guidelines here.


Who developed the Health Star Rating system?

The Australian, state and territory governments in collaboration with industry, public health and consumer groups created the system in 2014 and it was updated in 2020.


Why do some products score higher than others?

Products that are high in ‘positive’ nutrients and low in ‘risk’ nutrients tend to score a higher HSR. Comparatively, products low in ‘positive’ nutrients and high in ‘risk’ nutrients tend to score a lower HSR. Putting it to the test, a whole grain cereal that’s high in fibre and low in sugar will generally score a higher HSR compared to a low fibre cereal that’s higher in sugar.


Why isn’t the HSR system shown on some products?

The Health Star Rating system is a voluntary system that appears on some food and drink products. Some products are not expected to display a HSR, including herbs, spices, tea, coffee and foods where a Nutrition Information Panel is not required. Other products like infant formula and foods, alcohol, formulated sports foods and food for special medical purposes are not permitted to show a HSR.