Fast food companies should make healthier options the default side dishes sold with meals in an effort to create a healthier Australia, health researchers say, suggesting they aren’t doing enough to address the obesity crisis.
Researchers at Deakin University scored Australia’s 11 biggest fast food companies, including Subway, Domino’s Pizza and Nandos, according to their nutritional policies such as marketing to children, disclosure of nutritional information and future plans to reduce sugar and saturated fat from menu items.
Every franchise failed to secure a pass mark.
Subway was the best performer, scoring 48 point out of 100, while Domino’s Pizza was ranked lowest with a score of three out of 100.
Nandos and Subway were the only companies to provide adequate detail of their internal nutrition policies when approached by researchers, revealing a lack of transparency on the issue.
Lead Author, associate professor Gary Sacks urges every section of the community to do their part in halting soaring obesity rates.
“There’s a real opportunity for fast food companies to help address the problem by introducing policies that make healthier choices,” says Sacks, noting that fast food companies are still making sugary drinks and fried food the default.
“Like $1 frozen cokes, which clock in at more than 15 teaspoons of sugar, or two-for-one whoppers, which contain a whopping 40 grams of fat.”
The report calls for reduced portion sizes, healthier kids meals and lists a number of policies for fast food companies to follow, including reduced salt, sugar and saturated fat targets.