Time for a kilojoule count at the counter
CHOICE has named Hungry Jack’s ‘Ultimate Double Whopper the unhealthiest single menu option in a major Australian fast food outlet. With 80 grams of fat, 2.3 grams of sodium and 5085 kilojoules, the burger accounts for nearly sixty percent of an adult’s recommended daily kilojoule intake.*
Of the outlets CHOICE looked at, Hungry Jack's also had the second-most unhealthy menu option with its Angry Angus (double) burger, which contains 52.1 grams of fat, 17 grams of sodium and 3276 kilojoules.
While CHOICE welcomes the inclusion of healthy options by many fast food chains, a recent Griffith University survey of the lunch choices of over 1000 Subway and McDonald’s customers showed that less than three out of every hundred bought a Tick Approved or ‘six grams of fat or less’ item from the menu.
“Let’s face it, not many of us go to a fast food outlet for a salad,” says CHOICE spokesperson, Ingrid Just.
“When you add chips and a soft-drink to something like the Ultimate Double Whopper, you’re consuming a day’s worth of kilojoules in one meal. It’s a safe bet not many of us would realise that. We need better information about the fast food we’re buying.”
By February 2012, any fast food outlet in NSW that has 20 or more stores will be required to have kilojoule details of each item displayed on their menus. CHOICE wants other states and territories to follow the NSW lead.
The consumer group found that, when it comes to pizza, both Domino’s and Pizza Hut were neck and neck with their high fat options. Two slices of Domino’s Meatball and Rasher Bacon Edge pizza and Pizza Hut’s Deep Pan BBQ Meat Lovers pizza is more than 2000 kilojoules, or one quarter of an adult’s recommended daily intake.
“Incredibly, at Domino’s and Pizza Hut, they’ll tell you a serving is just one slice – but who really stops at one or even two slices of pizza? A bit of information under your belt, like that coming into fast food outlets in NSW next year, might just help you pull that belt in a notch or two,” says Ms Just.
The CHOICE investigation sampled menus from the big names in fast food, including Hungry Jacks, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dominos, KFC, Red Rooster and Oporto highlighting the best and worst menu options at each outlet.
Read more on CHOICE's fast food survival guide.
Media contact: Ingrid Just, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669
*The total daily intake for the average adult is 8700 kilojoules, 70grams for fat and 2300mg of sodium. Needs vary depending on your gender, size and activity level. Nutritional data accurate as of May 2011; may vary slightly between states.