I came across a great article from Aussie journalist, author and x-rugby union player Peter FitzSimons today which resonated deeply with me. He critiques the Health Star Rating System (HSR), which if you’ve heard me talk about this you’ll know I don’t think highly of it at all.
As Peter says in his article there is something wrong with a system that gives milk four stars but gives Up & Go – which is highly processed and has four sources of added sugar – four and a half stars! Plain natural Greek yoghurt gets one and half stars while some chips get four stars! A supermarket beer-battered frozen steak house chips get four stars. Milo, which is just under half sugar, gets four and half stars. Nutri-Grain, which is about a third sugar, gets four stars.
Please don’t be fooled by this system and marketing from processed food manufacturers. Remember they just want you to keep buying their products and have no real interest in your health. Reading the label and looking at what ingredients are in a product will give you much more valuable information then the marketing claims on the front of the packet. If you want some help learning to do this, let me know (I do group workshops and one-on-one sessions on this topic).
In the words of Dr Kieron Rooney, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney: “The HSR is not much more than a marketing tool for industry. Check out the blurb on the side of an Up and Go, which proudly coerces one to consume on the basis of its 4.5 stars….This is an ultra-processed industrialised product and not as the HSR and marketers would have you believe – a healthy alternative to eating a simple, unprocessed breakfast.”
With epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases impacting people of all ages, we all need to make better choices for our health.
Instead of buying Up and Go, make your own!


1 frozen banana

2 teaspoons raw cacao

1 cup of greens (eg baby spinach, mint, parsley)

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 ½ cups cold milk of choice (diary, coconut or almond)

3 tablespoons coyo yogurt or natural pot set yoghurt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a small thermos or glass bottle for on-the-go drinking or add to lunch box with an ice pack to keep it cool.

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