Cost-effectiveness of product reformulation in response to the health star rating food labelling system in australia

Ana Maria Mantilla Herrera, Michelle Crino, Holly E. Erskine, Gary Sacks, Jaithri Ananthapavan, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Yong Yi Lee

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The Health Star Rating (HSR) system is a voluntary front-of-pack labelling (FoPL) initiative endorsed by the Australian government in 2014. This study examines the impact of the HSR system on pre-packaged food reformulation measured by changes in energy density between products with and without HSR. The cost-effectiveness of the HSR system was modelled using a proportional multi-state life table Markov model for the 2010 Australian population. We evaluated scenarios in which the HSR system was implemented on a voluntary and mandatory basis (i.e., HSR uptake across 6.7% and 100% of applicable products, respectively). The main outcomes were health-adjusted life years (HALYs), net costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). These were calculated with accompanying 95% uncertainty intervals (95% UI). The model predicted that HSR-attributable reformulation leads to small reductions in mean population energy intake (voluntary: 0.98 kJ/day [95% UI: −1.08 to 2.86]; mandatory: 11.81 kJ/day [95% UI: −11.24 to 36.13]). These are likely to result in reductions in mean body weight (voluntary: 0.01 kg [95% UI: −0.01 to 0.03]; mandatory: 0.11 kg [95% UI: −0.12 to 0.32], and HALYs (voluntary: 4207 HALYs [95% UI: 2438 to 6081]; mandatory: 49,949 HALYs [95% UI: 29,291 to 72,153]). The HSR system evaluated via changes in reformulation could be considered cost-effective relative to a willingness-to-pay threshold of A$50,000 per HALY (voluntary: A$1728 per HALY [95% UI: dominant to 10,445] and mandatory: A$4752 per HALY [95% UI: dominant to 16,236]).

Original languageEnglish
Article number614
Number of pages16
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Economic evaluation
  • Front-of-pack labelling
  • Health Star Rating
  • Obesity prevention

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