Health conscious consumers may be unwittingly ordering energy dense snacks and drinks, which contain up to a quarter of their daily kilojoule intake, due to a lack of clear menu labelling, according to the Obesity Policy Coalition.
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Health conscious consumers may be unwittingly ordering energy dense snacks and drinks, which contain up to a quarter of their daily kilojoule intake, due to a lack of clear menu labelling, according to a group of health agencies.
Jane Martin, Senior Policy Adviser for the Obesity Policy Coalition, said that many consumers would be surprised to find that some seemingly innocuous items such as frappes and smoothies contained around a quarter of an adult’s recommended daily energy intake. To make matters worse many products with healthy sounding names are at the top of the worst offenders list.
“As consumers are becoming more health conscious, fast food outlets are trying to capitalise on this by heavily promoting foods or drinks as ‘healthier options’; however, in many cases these products are equally high in energy as some standard menu items.
“Some of the highest kilojoule menu items have names such as the Blueberry Blast, Garden Goodness and Green Tea Venti. While some of these products contain valuable nutrients, few people would realise that there’s less than a 100 kilojoules difference between a Big Mac and the McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad.
“Clearer labelling on menus at fast food outlets would help consumers sort the fat from the fiction at a glance. Traffic light labels, whereby foods are colour coded based on whether levels of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt are high, medium and low, would help people make healthier choices.
“We know there is public support for traffic light labelling on menus – 85% of consumers surveyed by Cancer Council Victoria are in favour of this type of labelling on menu boards at fast food outlets. We’ve also seen the effect of kilojoule labelling in certain states of America and the decrease in energy consumed as a result. The US is now rolling out menu and vending machine labelling nationally.”
“We call on the Federal Government in its food labelling review to adopt improved menu labelling across Australia,” said Ms Martin.
10 Takeaway Hidden Fat Offenders
1. Starbucks - Green Tea Cream Venti - 2363 kilojoules.
2. KFC - Sweet Chilli Cayan Grilled Melt - 2352 kilojoules.
3. Nando's - Vege burger with mayo - 2270 kilojoules.
4. Grill'd - Garden goodness vege burger with herb mayo - 2240 kilojoules.
5. Sum Salad - Chicken Caesar salad with dressing - 2042 kilojoules.
6. Subway - 6-inch Spicy Italian Sub - 2120 kilojoules.
7. Boost Juice - Blueberry Blast low fat smoothie, original size - 1995 kilojoules.
8. McDonalds - Crispy Chicken Caesar salad with dressing - 1974 kilojoules (Big Mac = 2060kj).
9. Gloria Jeans - Mango Fruit Chiller, large - 1880 kilojoules.
10. Red Rooster - Skinfree Grilled Chicken Baguette - 1850 kilojoules.
* Note: The recommended average daily intake of is 8,200 kilojoules for adults.
About the Obesity Policy Coalition
The Obesity Policy Coalition is a group of leading public health agencies who are concerned about the escalating levels of overweight and obesity, particularly in children.
The Obesity Policy Coalition partners include Diabetes Australia - Vic, Cancer Council Victoria, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University.