Dairy is one of the five “core” food groups recommended in the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines. Consistent application of these Guidelines across government nutrition policy will assist with its aim of increasing awareness of foods that, within the overall diet, contribute positively or negatively to the risk factors of diet-related chronic disease, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
The Health Star Rating Scheme (HSRS) is an example where the association between some foods and health outcomes are misrepresented. The HSRS approach is inconsistent with broader health strategies designed to reduce the risk of diet-related chronic disease. The anomalies with the HSRS need to be addressed to ensure consistency with the Dietary Guidelines.
The dairy industry is among the most active of Australian primary industries in contributing to development of health and nutrition policy. The dairy industry provides a whole-of-supply chain input to policy development and this means our information and position differs from other stakeholders who represent only part of an industry. The involvement of primary producers in policy development should continue to ensure appropriate, workable health and nutrition policy that benefits the health of all Australians.
- Ensure all health and nutrition policy initiatives are consistent with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Dietary Guidelines.
- Provide representation to primary industry bodies, as well as research and development corporations at all relevant health and nutrition policy forums.