New Zealand also decides to axe the Healthy Heart tick

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th October 2016

The New Zealand Heart Foundation is following in the steps of its Australian counterparts, deciding to retire the Healthy Heart tick in New Zealand too.

The Healthy Heart Tick, which aimed to help consumers make healthier food choices, has been seen on New Zealand sold products for the past 25 years. The New Zealand Heart Foundation now however says it is time to follow a decision the Australian Heart Foundation made in December 2015 and retire the tick.

New Zealand Tick Promgramme Manager, Deb Sue, said it was time to stop using the tick due to changes occurring across the nutrition landscape in New Zealand.

“The food and nutrition landscape is complex and our nutrition voice will continue to play a key role in guiding consumers through the maze of confusion, and towards making good choices for them and their families,” Sue said.

“Behind the scenes, we will continue to work with companies to reduce sugar and sodium in a number of food categories. We’re also continuing to help Kiwis to create nutritious meals using whole and less processed ingredients, and to make healthier choices through our recipes and visual food guide,” Sue stated.

Products sold in New Zealand can display a healthy star rating (HSR) the same as food and beverages sold within Australia.

“Additionally, the HSR is prompting food manufacturers to reformulate products so that they gain higher star ratings,” Sue said.

During its years in use the Healthy Heart tick helped raise revenue for the Heart Foundation with food manufacturers asked to pay a fee in order to display the logo. The fee was however one of the criticisms of the tick program. The program also drew other criticisms including when it was allowed to appear on some McDonald’s foods and meals sold within Australia in 2007.

In farewelling the tick, the New Zealand Heart Foundation said it resulted in 33 tonnes of salt being removed from three food categories in one year. It also ensured the inclusion of nutrition information panels on all tick packaged foods 13 years before it was made mandatory to do so in New Zealand.

The tick will be phased out across New Zealand in 2017.

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