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A win against obesity

November 8, 2010

I’ve been busy with the campaign to have calorie counts against all items in venues of quick service restaurants.  (See last weeks item A Meal-time Challenge to Australia’s Councils as well as Good work at the NSW Food Forum).

Premier Kristina Keneally announced on the weekend that all NSW major fast food retailers will be required to display kilojoule information under new laws that come into effect on February 1, 2011.  It’s an Australian first and will apply to food outlets with 20 or more stores in NSW or 50 or more stores across Australia.  Businesses will be allowed a 12 month implementation period. 

The new laws follow on the heels of the Fast Food Forum hosted by the Premier in August and co-chaired by me and Patricia Forsythe, the Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber. The Forum, which consisted of key policy makers, consumer advocates, fast food producers and health representatives met to discuss labelling, food content and better nutritional information at point-of-sale. 

Under the new measures kilojule information must be displayed “adjacent to the price of the product” and be “at least the same size as the price of the product”. Additionally, every menu board will be required to display the recommended average adult daily energy intake of 8700 kj, “clearly and legibly”.  Consumers will now be able to calculate their overall energy intake and make more informed choices.

“This is a responsible approach to healthy living,” the Premier said.

“More and more NSW families are eating fast food, and if they’re not preparing food themselves, they want more information about what they are eating.”

For more information on the new fast food labelling laws visit: http://www.premier.nsw.gov.au/news

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