WA fast food menus may soon have to include information on the amount of kilojoules in the food they offer, as a part of a suite of options to encourage healthier lifestyles.
The Department of Health will investigate the feasibility of including kilojoule labelling on menus to help consumers make better, informed choices about the foods they buy.
The proposed initiative is the latest announcement to come out of the State Government’s Preventive Health Summit, which was held in March 2018, despite some WA food outlets already providing some kind of point of sale kilojoule labelling.
Health Minister Roger Cook said fast foods were a major contributor to obesity.
“Given that two thirds of Western Australian adults are overweight or obese, we need to help people make healthier choices,” he said.
“There is strong public support for nutrition labelling in WA, and there is evidence that it encourages people to make healthier choices.
“Addressing chronic alcohol and obesity issues will reduce the burden on our public health system, ease waitlist times for patients, lower the cost to taxpayers and help people feel better.”
Mandatory kilojoule labelling is in place in NSW, the ACT, SA, Queensland and Victoria.
Mr Cook has also asked the Australian Government to consider developing a National Obesity Prevention Strategy, to look at ways to reduce children’s exposure to advertising for unhealthy food and drinks.