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Greens push kilojoule counts on large fast food outlets

johnboy 6 April 2011 33

The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has announced that she has tabled a “Fast Food Information Bill”:

Major fast food outlets would be required to display the energy (in kilojoules) content of food products on menu boards under new laws proposed by ACT Greens Health spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA.

“People are eating out more often, so it is more important to have clear information about how much energy is in the food,” Ms Bresnan said.

“More than half of the ACT population is overweight, which can cause a range of major health problems, many fatal. There is speculation that we may see an unprecedented decrease in life expectancies if something isn’t done to reverse the obesity epidemic.”

The scheme will target large fast food chains and will apply to those businesses which have seven or more outlets in the ACT, or 50 or more in Australia.“Where the scheme has been implemented in New York and California, studies have shown that some fast food outlets changed the ingredients of their food products to reduce the energy content.

“NSW already has similar laws for fast food outlets to display the kilojoule content in at least the same font size as the price on each of their food items. This bill will bring the ACT in-line with its neighbour and looks to build on the NSW model.

“My legislation also proposes that the menu board must state that ‘recommended average daily energy intake is 8,700 kJ’.


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33 Responses to Greens push kilojoule counts on large fast food outlets
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breda breda 12:04 am 27 May 11

Pointless, gesturing, finger-wagging politics at its best, or worst.

Shock! Horror! People don’t go to eat out in search of ways to cut calories:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/26/3227388.htm?section=justin

“We found only 2.5 per cent of customers are actually choosing these options,” she said.

“I think a lot of people don’t actually go to fast food chains with the intention of actually choosing a health food.”

When they make all restaurants (including the high-end foodies’ favourites) do this, I will start to believe that it has something to do with public health and is not about lecturing and hectoring, in search of a higher public profile.

deye deye 11:58 pm 26 May 11

forget about posting the info on the board, just put it on a pamphlet available at the counter for those who are interested and stop nannying the rest of us.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 11:15 pm 26 May 11

Keijidosha said :

LSWCHP said :

I love these stories.

I’m a tall lean bloke from a family with a long history of producing tall lean blokes. My problem is that I need to try really hard to put weight on, so I can pig out on grease bombs, chips, coke, cake, beer etc for weeks at a time and not gain an ounce.

Meanwhile, some of my mates gain flab if they walk past a Maccas. Hahahahahaha…..

Enjoy your high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and all the other lovely things that go along with a high-fat, high-sugar diet… and no, you don’t need to be fat to suffer any of these conditions.

Don’t go leaping to conclusions dude.

I’m 49. I don’t smoke. I drink alcohol moderately. I donate blood every 3 months and also have regular physical checkups at my GP. I exercise at the gym or elsewhere 4 nights per week. I have bugger-all cholesterol, my blood sugar is spot on, BP is generally around 118/70, resting heart rate is in the high 50’s and my BMI was 22.5 last time I calculated it. I just had the finger up my bum at the GP, and my PSA is non-existent.

Overall, I think I’m in pretty good shape for an almost senior citizen, so if I feel like dining under the golden arches or having a few more beers than I should…well…I’m not gonna stress about it. I am going to continue feeling smug about my genetic heritage though. It’s one of the few blessings I have.

2604 2604 10:48 pm 26 May 11

Thumper said :

What Housebound said.

The ACT Greens seem pretty keen to run every aspect of our lives at present.

x 2 (3??)

Green is the new red. Telling people how they ought to live is the height of arrogance, and taxing them to fund these crazy schemes is even worse.

Thumper Thumper 5:29 pm 26 May 11

What Housebound said.

The ACT Greens seem pretty keen to run every aspect of our lives at present.

Keijidosha Keijidosha 4:52 pm 26 May 11

LSWCHP said :

I love these stories.

I’m a tall lean bloke from a family with a long history of producing tall lean blokes. My problem is that I need to try really hard to put weight on, so I can pig out on grease bombs, chips, coke, cake, beer etc for weeks at a time and not gain an ounce.

Meanwhile, some of my mates gain flab if they walk past a Maccas. Hahahahahaha…..

Enjoy your high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and all the other lovely things that go along with a high-fat, high-sugar diet… and no, you don’t need to be fat to suffer any of these conditions.

housebound housebound 4:30 pm 26 May 11

Well, it’s all pretty awful. You eat that stuff when you want something awful. No one goes to maccas for a health kick.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 4:23 pm 26 May 11

These statistics are all meaningless for the most part unless one also takes into account their exercise. That RD Energy Intake is based on a certain body mass and certain amount of physical activity.

The other problem is for many outlets, labelling wouldn’t work where combinations are plentiful. Take Subway for example. Their most popular sandwich worldwide is the Italian BMT. Their own specs show that it has more saturated fat and 3x more salt plus far more KJ than a Grand chicken burger and fries from Maccas. And that’s based on the conservative estimate that you have no cheese or sauce and all the salads. Add cheese and a creamy sauce and your eating even less “fresh”.

johnboy johnboy 4:10 pm 26 May 11

I always assumed this was purely a punitive compliance burden.

Holditz Holditz 4:08 pm 26 May 11

The ABC reports that the move to add healthy food to the menu of many fast food restaurants has been a pretty poor return for the fast food chains. Out of 1,000 customers surveyed, only 2.5% of customers are actually choosing these items, and these customers tended to be female, older than the average customer, and likely to be working in or have an interested in the health care field. McDonalds and Subway participated in the survey.

“People are eating out more often, so it is more important to have clear information about how much energy is in the food,” Ms Bresnan said.

If customers are actively not choosing to purchase the healthy alternatives on the menu, will they pay any more attention to the kilojoule count charts?

bigfeet bigfeet 6:39 am 21 Apr 11

LSWCHP said :

I love these stories.

I’m a tall lean bloke from a family with a long history of producing tall lean blokes. My problem is that I need to try really hard to put weight on, so I can pig out on grease bombs, chips, coke, cake, beer etc for weeks at a time and not gain an ounce.

Meanwhile, some of my mates gain flab if they walk past a Maccas. Hahahahahaha…..

I hate you. As I sit here putting rabbit food in a container to take to work for lunch, and stare at my miniscule bowl of bran and low fat yogurt breakfast, the same thing I have had for the last three months, I am dreaming of killing you in the most gruesome way possible.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 9:49 pm 20 Apr 11

I love these stories.

I’m a tall lean bloke from a family with a long history of producing tall lean blokes. My problem is that I need to try really hard to put weight on, so I can pig out on grease bombs, chips, coke, cake, beer etc for weeks at a time and not gain an ounce.

Meanwhile, some of my mates gain flab if they walk past a Maccas. Hahahahahaha…..

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 6:27 pm 20 Apr 11

Erg0 said :

Standing in line at a Starbucks in New York, I realised that the coffee and muffin I was planning on consuming added up to almost 900 calories. I got a piece of banana bread instead of the muffin and had the coffee with skim milk – 400-odd calories saved. Taking me as a sample of one, the system works!

That said, I hardly ever buy takeaway coffee and don’t exactly need to be told which items on the McDonalds menu are highly calorific.

Fortunately the little pizza place at 7th and 39th I went to late last year didn’t have energy content. That 3 cheese pizza lasted about 4 meals!

Erg0 Erg0 4:13 pm 20 Apr 11

Standing in line at a Starbucks in New York, I realised that the coffee and muffin I was planning on consuming added up to almost 900 calories. I got a piece of banana bread instead of the muffin and had the coffee with skim milk – 400-odd calories saved. Taking me as a sample of one, the system works!

That said, I hardly ever buy takeaway coffee and don’t exactly need to be told which items on the McDonalds menu are highly calorific.

EvanJames EvanJames 8:56 am 07 Apr 11

Chief Ten Beers said :

What’s with this obsession of telling people how to live?

Because health care for obesity-related illness is expensive, and with the current obesity rates, the country is facing a health care bill that will make the supposed “ageing crisis” costs look like chump change.

If people can see just how many calories they are consuming when they push this “food” into their maws, many of them will actually make the decision to eat less of it.

It’s easy to think “it can’t be THAT bad” when you buy a big mac. If faced with the bald numbers, many people will at least have to then make an informed decision.

johnboy johnboy 8:52 am 07 Apr 11

harley said :

How will they define “major”? Will it just be if they were founded in the USA?

Why shouldn’t this be applied to everyone?

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s s stupid idea, but why pick on the big successful companies only?

RTFM.

Seven local franchises or 50 nationwide.

So only the large and successful, although local player Zambrero will be caught up and I reckon the Kj count on those burritos is pretty large.

(in fact this will seriously mess up the adaptability of the menu, but rigid doctrine’s the green way right?)

harley harley 8:49 am 07 Apr 11

How will they define “major”? Will it just be if they were founded in the USA?

Why shouldn’t this be applied to everyone?

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s s stupid idea, but why pick on the big successful companies only?

Tequila Mockingbird Tequila Mockingbird 8:27 am 07 Apr 11

I think it’s a great idea, I don’t see anything wrong with informing the customer about their purchase. If nothing else, it might help people to make an informed choice about what they’re consuming (although lets be honest, once you’ve rocked up to Maccas, you’re not going to leave on the grounds that the food is too unhealthy). If it helps people to consider what they are fuelling their bodies with, even just for a few seconds before they order a double, then I think it is a step in the right direction.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 12:20 am 07 Apr 11

It’s on the packets already and has made no difference by all reports.
Those who care already know. Those who don’t won’t bother reading it or understand it anyway.

cleo cleo 12:03 am 07 Apr 11

I think people should take responsibility for themselves, it’s becoming a communist country!
We don’t need someone telling what to eat, next thing they will be having us weighted at the railway station lol, only obese people.

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