Regulating Fast Food for Australian Consumer Health

Regulating Fast Food for Australian Consumer Health
March 16, 2013

Some frightening facts have come out about how often consumers choose to eat fast foods. The Cancer Council of Australia recently indicated through a detailed report that the consumption of fast food has risen by nearly 50% in the past few years.

With so many people choosing to eat items that are known to be unhealthy, new concerns have arisen.

Obesity Is on the Rise

Unfortunately, obesity has continued to rise in Australian adults and children. In fact, more than half of the adults in the country are classified as obese. Because of this, there is a rise in heart conditions, stroke, diabetes, and other life threatening illness. In addition, several different types of cancer have been linked to an unhealthy lifestyle and diet.

Studies continue to show that people who choose to eat a diet based mainly on fast food are more susceptible to life threatening illness. Because of this, groups like the Cancer Council of Australia have become increasingly concerned about consumer education.

Making Changes

In order to better educate consumers about the foods they are eating, new labelling is required on all fast food items. This labelling must detail kilojoule (energy content) for all food items. In the past, fast food products have not always been specifically labelled. In some cases, only certain items had the nutritional information detailed. However, Australian consumers need to know exactly what they are eating in every item that they order.

By being more educated on energy, the consumer can be more aware of steps they need to eat more healthily.

Reformulating Foods

Additionally, the Cancer Council is choosing to request food reformulation in several fast food chains. The vast majority of items available in these convenience restaurants will be loaded with fats, salt, sugar, and saturated fat. All of these items are extremely unhealthy, especially when consumed regularly. New regulations are designed to ensure that all of the foods served will contain less of these ingredients.

More Australians are consuming fast foods than ever, and the obesity count is rising at an alarming rate. To ensure consumers understand their risk, the Cancer Council of Australia, along with other groups, is requiring that fast food restaurants make changes in their ingredients and their labelling. Through these changes, fast foods will be somewhat healthier and consumers will be able to actually see what they are eating before they place their order.