Healthier choices become easier in Victoria
LiveLighter warmly welcomes the commencement of mandatory kilojoule labelling in chain fast food outlets and supermarkets across Victoria this month.
LiveLighter’s previous audit of Victorian point of purchase kilojoule menu labelling practices uncovered that only two in nine of Victoria’s major fast food chains were supplying nutrition information in line with interstate requirements so that consumers can make informed choices about what they are eating.
While it is no surprise to find fast food products are extremely energy dense the introduction of a consistent, easily understood kilojoule labelling system now informs Victorians of how many kilojoules they are consuming.
Prior to implementing instore kilojoule labelling a majority of Victorian fast food outlets and supermarkets stores were denying consumers basic nutrition information about their products at the point of sale by not including the amount of kilojoules on their menu boards or by obscuring the information, making it small, hard to read and difficult to find.
Craig Sinclair, Head of Prevention Division at Cancer Council Victoria said “Fast food is a major contributor to people’s intake of saturated fat, sugar, salt and energy. It’s great to know consumers are finally being informed with the facts about what they’re purchasing”
“Providing clear instore information about the energy content of food, along with education about the energy they need, now encourages and supports people to make healthier and more informed food choices.”
In support of the new regulations LiveLighter Victoria has launched a new junk food calculator which determines just how much fat, sugar and salt people are putting into their body when choosing to consume various junk food products.
Examples of fast food products nutrition information used in the LiveLighter junk food calculator :
“It may come as a surprise just how much junk food consumption adds up. Many would be shocked to learn that a medium burger meal contains over half of your recommended daily average intake of 8,700 kilojoules” said LiveLighter campaign manager Alison McAleese
“People may also underestimate the potential weight gain they are at risk of developing when consuming fast food and just how much walking they would need to commit to in order to burn off the excessive energy.”
“Now that people are able to access this information in store they may realise that the extra serving of fries or upsizing their meal is just not worth it”.
“It’s great to see the Victorian government have developed ‘Kilojoules on the menu – check before you choose’, a consumer education campaign encouraging Victorians to eat better when eating out. Consumers are given context around the number of kilojoules in a product so they can understand what’s high and low,” said Mr Sinclair.