3 Stars Means It's Healthy, Right?

Experts fear that new health ratings systems may befuddle shoppers
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2007 10:01 PM CST
Juices that received one star on the Guiding Stars system, because of high sugar content, are seen at a Hannaford Supermarket location in this Sept. 3, 2006 file photo, in Latham, N.Y. A gold star rating...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Stars, numbers, and letter grades are coming to grocery stores near you, the New York Times reports—but experts fear that these health ratings may befuddle shoppers with conflicting information. Consumer advocates are studying three new food ranking systems, while the FDA, approached by a nutrition group, is soliciting ideas about a possible system of its own.

Two ranking systems were unveiled this week—one from a Connecticut doctor who will rate foods from 1 to 100, another from a grocery chain that will give 1 to 3 stars. But one expert says buyers will be baffled if a food gets no stars from one group, but an endorsement from another. “I think we are going to have competing systems until the federal government steps in," he said.