Kilojoule count law for fast-food

Jodi - posted on 11/06/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Fast-food Chains in NSW, including McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut, will be forced to display kilojoule counts on menus in an attempt to reverse the obesity epidemic.

The new food labelling law, to be introduced into Parliament by the Keneally government this week, gives fast-food sellers in NSW 12 months from February 1 to comply before heavy fines kick in for outlets in breach of the new code, The Sun-Herald says.

Kilojoule information will be "at least the same size as the price of the product" under the proposed law.

Every menu board will also have to feature the recommended average adult daily energy intake of no more than 8700 kilojoules so customers can calculate how much energy each item represents in their daily diet.

The NSW Heart Foundation has thrown its support behind the new system as a "logical first step" but will lobby the NSW government to ultimately include information on saturated fat and salt in the future.

Premier Kristina Keneally said on Saturday the government will consider expanding the law to cover fat and salt within a year of its introduction.

After lengthy negotiations that involved the former premier and health food advocate Bob Carr, McDonald's and Yum! Restaurants Australia - the company behind KFC and Pizza Hut - will support the labelling law despite the significant cost of altering every menu in NSW.

The law will affect not only the big-brand fast-food chains but also bakery, coffee and doughnut outlets.

"Even salad and juice chains that market themselves as healthy, but often pack a big kilojoule punch, must comply," Ms Keneally said.

Companies with fewer than 20 stores in NSW or 50 across Australia will be exempt.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/82...

So obviously we are talking the large chains here. Do you think they should display this information in store? I already know they mostly have ALL of their nutritional info on their websites (yes, I'm a freak, I actually have checked it before choosing which fast food to have, on the rare occasion we have it, LMAO). Should they also be forced to display MORE than just the kilojoules (calories) in store as well, such as saturated fat and sugars? Just curious as to what people think, and also whether any of this is a requirement in any other country?

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Jodi - posted on 11/06/2010

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Don't worry Heather, I actually count calories not kilojoules too, and often have to convert in my head. If you are having to work it out in your head, one kilojoule is around 4 calories, so that 8700 is around 2175 calories give or take a few.

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Tracey - posted on 11/07/2010

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All this will do is confuse people between calories and kilojoules, why don't they adopt the traffic light system where each food is labeled red amber or green for calories, fat, sugar, salt etc so you can see at a glance how (un)healthy food is.

Stifler's - posted on 11/07/2010

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I don't believe that it's going to work unless they give a tutorial on how to read and understand the nutritional info tables. They've had it on Maccas food here in QLD for ages.

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Here McD's posts a list of their products and their calories, fat, carbs, sugars, salt, etc. on a sign. I'm not sure if it's just their policy of if it's the law, but I'm glad it's IN their restaurant where people can see it. Of course it's only useful for those people that are aware of how much they should eat. Some people just don't CARE so having the information there will do nothing for them.

I would also like to add that calorie counting is not an exact science (more of a theory, really), and people shouldn't count them "to the letter". However, this on-menu nutritional information is good as a guideline.

Jodi - posted on 11/07/2010

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OK, so since when have we called it the "quick service Industry"? Don't tell me we are getting politically correct on calling it "fast food" now.....no shit, the NSW Premier called it the quick service industry.

But maybe she has a point. Perhaps she can't bring herself to call it food.

Kate CP - posted on 11/06/2010

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Yep. People who just calorie count aren't getting the full picture. So whenever I'm out and some one tells me "Oh, it's only 200 calories" I'm like "That's great. How much fat is in it?" and they give me this blank look. So I tell them I can't have high amounts of fat because of my pancreas. They reply "But...it only has 200 calories in it!" *head desk*

Jodi - posted on 11/06/2010

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Kate, we have the same issue, we don't focus so much on the calories, but more on the calorie content, mostly saturated fats and carbs. Obviously calories are important, but not all calories are created equal.

Heather - posted on 11/06/2010

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Damn the metric system!! I must have an app. for that...somewhere...*looking in my phone*...

Kate CP - posted on 11/06/2010

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I think it's a great idea and I wish they would do it in America, too.



Edited to add:



I would *love* to see fat content and carb content on all menus. It would make eating out a lot easier for people like me or my husband who have special dietary needs due to health issues.

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