Fast food energy counts

South Australian Government forces fast food retailers to display energy counts on menu boards.
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01.South Australia to count kilojules

The South Australian government has announced plans for all major fast food retailers to display energy counts on their menu boards, websites, leaflets and menus to help consumers make healthier food choices.

New regulations, to be introduced in January next year, requires food chains with 20 or more outlets in SA (or 50 or more nationally) to display the kilojoule (kJ) content of each item alongside the product’s price. The average adult daily energy intake of 8700kJ must also feature prominently on the advertising material.

Similar regulations were implemented in NSW in February, when major fast food outlets, juice bars and supermarkets, as well as coffee, bakery, ice-cream and doughnut chains, began displaying the energy content of foods on menus.

Australians spent over $14.5 billion on takeaways in 2009-2010. CHOICE believes it’s important that all consumers have the information to make healthy choices and that a nationally consistent approach would be of most benefit to consumers and food businesses that operate across Australia.

Victoria announced similar plans early last year, with implementation set for 2012. The Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council has agreed to develop advice on a national approach by mid-2011. Similar laws were introduced in New South Wales (NSW) last month. 

According to the Heart Foundation report, Nutritional Labelling on menus in South Australia (Feb 2011), 'consumers are more likely to notice nutritional information if it's on the menu board.'

For more information see the full media release, Kilojoule info on fast food menus (Mar 2011).



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