Cancer Council calls for more regulation of fast-foods

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 25th February 2013

The Cancer Council Australia is calling for mandatory kilojoule labelling in fast food outlets and restaurants following a new report that reveals fast-food purchases have grown by 50 per cent over the past six years.

The new report, “Fast Food: Exposing the Truth” reveals that almost a third of the average weekly household budget is spent on “dining out” and “fast foods.” The report provides recommendations to address obesity issues in Australia.

According to the Cancer Council report, there are “major inconsistencies” in the availability of nutrition information in fast food stores across Australia, with certain states and fast food chains providing kilojoule labelling in-store whilst consumers in other States are left in the dark about the energy content of their food.

The report states that there is a need for reformulation targets to be established to reduce the amount of saturated fat, salt and sugars that are found in fast food menu items.

Nutrition Program Manager at Cancer Council NSW Clare Hughes said Federal Government and the fast food industry need to introduce mandatory reformulation targets and energy labelling in all states.

“More than 60 per cent of Australian adults and almost a quarter of Australian children are currently either overweight or obese,” Ms Hughes said.

“Mandatory kilojoule labelling has already been introduced in NSW, and this is a step in the right direction. But it needs to be introduced across Australia, with more detailed information also available in store,” she added.

The Cancer Council has called for clearer, mandatory nutritional information on meals when dining out. This follows an announcement last week that the food industry and Federal Government had agreed on set sodium targets for savoury cracker products in Australia.