NSW Food Authority campaign to assist consumers to pressure takeaways

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th June 2012

New South Wales, since February 2012, has had a menu nutrition labelling law, which requires information about the energy content of fast food and snack food from larger chains to be made available on purchasing.

To assist consumers, the NSW Food Authority (NSWFA) and NSW Health have launched a promotional campaign called ‘8700 kJ’. The ‘8700 kJ’ refers to the average energy intake of adult Australians. The campaign is now supported by a study found that men are most likely to put on weight over winter, with 53% of males envisaging a 2–5kg weight gain compared to 38% of females.

The increased awareness of their kilojoule intake makes it more likely that consumers will pressure fast food and snack food chains for the energy content of their products, which will help enforce the NSWFA menu nutrition labelling law.

According to the new NSWSA research, 90% of Australians say that, in winter, they eat more fast and snack foods because this type of food “makes them feel warmer and happier”. Nearly 60% expected their weight gain to be caused by exercising less and eating more fast and snack foods and takeaways.

NSW Food Authority Chief Scientist, Dr Lisa Szabo said many people are not aware of how many kilojoules they actually consume.

“Last year, only 8% of people surveyed knew that the average daily kilojoule intake is between 8000–9000 kJ,” Dr Szabo said.

NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant was concerned by the fact that the study found that one in four adults in Australia is obese. She wants to encourage people to use the NSWFA online resources to calculate their ideal kilojoule intake and make more informed food and exercise choices.

Dr Chant said that the message of the 8700kJ campaign is “particularly important for younger people so they can develop healthier eating habits before they become overweight or obese.”

The 8700kJ campaign has been endorsed by Dr Joanna McMillan, ‘The Biggest Loser’ trainer Michelle Bridges, Bondi Rescue Lifeguard Trent ‘Maxi’ Maxwell and the Heart Foundation.

The NSW Food Authority and NSW Health are encouraging people to visit the 8700 kJ website.

Australian Food News has reported in the past on State legislation of energy content on fast food menus in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.