Orange juice reclassified under Health Star Rating System

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sugar in orange juice
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A decision by the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has seen orange juice go from a five-star designation under the Health Star Rating System to as low as two. 

It reflects a decision by the Forum to focus on the amount of sugar when classifying food and drinks under the Health Star Rating System, which is meant to help customers understand the health benefits of various packaged and processed foods. 

While the change has prompted fierce debate, nutritionists and health professionals point out that consuming an orange and drinking a glass of orange juice are two wholly different things with the latter allowing the body to take in the sugar far more quickly due to the absence of the ameliorating effect of fibre. 

“The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that we eat whole fruits, and they don’t recommend that fruit juices can replace whole fruits,” ADA Victoria CEO Associate Professor Matthew Hopcraft said.

“In fact, they say, ‘Fruit juice should only be drunk occasionally as it is acidic and can increase the risk of dental erosion. Fruit juice also has less fibre and other healthy nutrients than the whole fruit provides.’  

“So don’t be tricked by industry claims that fruit juice is a part of a healthy diet to help meet your daily fruit intake.” 

The decision by the Forum to change the rating for orange juice, which Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends shouldn’t exceed more than 125ml (½ cup) per day, is important when you consider figures from the ADA’s Oral Health Tracker show that almost 48 per cent of people are taking in too much ‘free sugar’ in what they drink and eat. 

Rethink Sugary Drink, a partnership between health and community organisations including the Australian Dental Association, is seeking to change the way people perceive and consume sugary drinks, one example being their Full of Crap campaign, targeted as young men, which is currently underway. 

This article was sourced from the News & Media page on the ADA website.

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