A study conducted at the University of Sydney has found that adding kilojoule data to menus and teaching consumers to interpret kilojoule figures leads to a reduction of kilojoules from the average daily energy intake. The study involved adding kilojoule labels to the menu of one of the university’s on-campus food outlets as well as running a social marketing campaign.
Some fast food chains have already implemented kilojoule labelling. In 2010, the NSW Government passed laws requiring larger fast food chains to display kilojoules information. However, the NSW Food Authority, in a 2013 report, found that while consumers were more aware of daily energy intake, their level of understanding of kilojoules did not ‘significantly’ increase.
Lead researcher Rajshri Roy, from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, said 960 kilojoules was typically found in a small serve of french fries or a small sausage roll. The university findings revealed that when students understood the kilojoule values of their food purchases through education at point-of-purchase, students found they could shave nearly 1000kJ off their daily diet and subconsciously curb unhealthy appetites.
In what Ms Roy says is an Australian-first, kilojoule labelling has now rolled out across all on-campus food outlets at the University of Sydney. The president of Dietitians Association of Australia, Liz Kellett, has also supported the calls for clearer labelling that makes it easier to choose healthier food. Great initiative, Sydney Uni. Thanks for keeping Australia clever and healthy!
[img source] LPC, Brighton (CCA2.0)
The above story is based on materials provided by the University of Sydney