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KJ labelling on the menu for good!

Tuesday 12 April, 2016 by Olivia Kostandinov

Congratulations to the Victorian Government for announcing mandatory KJ labelling on menus! But how will it affect you?

Currently just over half of Victorian chain food outlets display the kilojoule content of food and drinks. But that doesn't mean the information is easy to read or understand.

A recent Cancer Council Victoria and Heart Foundation survey found that only two in nine of Victoria's major fast food chains supplied adequate nutritional information, and less than 73% provided kilojoule information that was legible to consumers.

See this sneaky example:

Tiny, faded fonts will be a thing of the past when all unpackaged and ready-to-eat food and drinks in fast-food chains and supermarkets will display kilojoule information from mid-2017.

So what will it look like?

Source: http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/_Documents/retail/fastchoices_user_guide.pdf  

KJ labelling will appear on price tags and on menus, menu boards and online menus in fast-food chains and large supermarkets.

And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be a math genius to work out how to use it.

Start by using the recommended daily kilojoule intake, 8700kj as a guide and compare that figure to what you're thinking about ordering. Keep in mind the average fast-food combo meal contains up to 4900kj – that's more than half the recommended intake! By having the kilojoule labelling displayed on all items it allows you to make more informed and healthier choices.

Research has shown that diners do make healthier choices when KJ information is on display. When rolled out in conjunction with a supporting education campaign, diners have chosen meals that are 15% lower in kilojoules – compared to the choices they made before labelling was implemented.

So how will it affect you? Have you used KJ labelling in other states or countries? Did it impact your food choices?

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