To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
A quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese. Research conducted in 2010 found that fast-food children’s meals were energy-dense and nutrient-poor. Since then, menu labelling and self-regulation of marketing have been introduced in Australia. The present study aimed to: (i) investigate the nutrient composition of children’s meals offered at fast-food chains; (ii) compare these with children’s daily requirements and recommendations and the food industry’s own criteria for healthier children’s meals; and (iii) determine whether results have changed since last investigated in 2010.
An audit of nutrition information for fast-food children’s meals was conducted. Meals were compared with 30 % (recommended contribution for a meal) and 100 % of children’s daily recommendations and requirements. A comparative analysis was conducted to determine if the proportion of meals that exceeded meal requirements and recommendations, and compliance with the food industry’s own criteria, changed between 2010 and 2016.
Large Australian fast-food chains.
All possible children’s meal combinations.
Overall, 289 children’s meals were included. Most exceeded 30 % of daily recommendations and requirements for a 4-year-old’s energy, saturated fat, sugars and Na. Results were also substantial for 8- and 13-year-olds, particularly for Na. When compared with mean energy and nutrient contents from 2010, there were minimal changes overall.
Children’s meals can provide excess energy, saturated fat, sugar and Na to children’s diets. Systematic reformulation of energy, saturated fat, sugars and Na would improve the nutrient composition of the meals.
The Food Standards Code regulates health claims on Australian food labels. General-level health claims highlight food–health relationships, e.g. ‘contains calcium for strong bones’. Food companies making claims must notify Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and certify that a systematic literature review (SLR) substantiating the food–health relationship has been conducted. There is no pre- or post-notification assessment of the SLR, potentially enabling the food industry to make claims based on poor-quality research. The present study assessed the rigour of self-substantiation.
Food–health relationships notified to FSANZ were monitored monthly between 2013 and 2017. These relationships were assessed by scoping published literature. Where evidence was equivocal/insufficient, the relevant government food regulatory agency was asked to investigate. If not investigated, or the response was unsatisfactory, the project team conducted an independent SLR which was provided to the government agency.
Self-substantiated food–health relationships.
There were sixty-seven relationships notified by thirty-eight food companies. Of these, thirty-three relationships (52 %) from twenty companies were deemed to have sufficient published evidence. Four were excluded as they originated in New Zealand. Three relationships were removed before investigations were initiated. The project initiated twenty-seven food–health relationship investigations. Another six relationships were withdrawn, and three relationships were awaiting government assessment.
To ensure that SLR underpinning food–health relationships are rigorous and reduce regulatory enforcement burden, pre-market approval of food–health relationships should be introduced. This will increase consumer and public health confidence in the regulatory process and prevent potentially misleading general-level health claims on food labels.
The present study examined the energy (kilojoule) content of Australian fast-food menu items over seven years, before and after introduction of menu board labelling, to determine the impact of the introduction of the legislation.
Analysis of the median energy contents per serving and per 100g of fast-food menu items. Change in energy content of menu items across the years surveyed and differences in energy content of standard and limited-time only menu items were analysed.
Five of Australia’s largest fast food chains: Hungry Jack’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Oporto and Red Rooster.
All standard and limited-time only menu items available at each fast-food chain, collected annually for seven years, 2009–2015.
Although some fast-food chains/menu item categories had significant increases in the energy contents of their menus at some time points during the 7-year period, overall there were no significant or systematic decreases in energy following the introduction of menu labelling (P=0·19 by +17 kJ/100 g, P=0·83 by +8 kJ/serving). Limited-time only items were significantly higher in median energy content per 100 g than standard menu items (+74 kJ/100 g, P=0·002).
While reformulation across the entire Australian fast-food supply has the potential to positively influence population nutrient intake, the introduction of menu labelling legislation in New South Wales, Australia did not lead to reduced energy contents across the five fast-food chains. To encourage widespread reformulation by the fast-food industry and enhance the impact of labelling legislation, the government should work with industry to set targets for reformulation of nutrient content.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.