An article written by Mike Stewart on the website www.foodsafety.com.au poses an interesting question to Australians about whether fast food like other vices such as alcohol and cigarettes should be regulated.
According to the Cancer Council of Australia the consumption of fast food has risen by nearly 50 per cent in the last few years. A lot of Aussies are choosing to consume foods that are known to be unhealthy, which has given rise to new concerns about public health. A detailed report has been released by the Cancer Council which indicates that one of the reasons for the rise in obesity is the excessive consumption of unhealthy fast foods.
The article on FoodSafety.com.au went on to state about the issue of obesity:
Unfortunately, obesity has continued to rise in Australian adults and children. In fact, more than half of the adults in the country are classified as obese. Because of this, there is a rise in heart conditions, stroke, diabetes, and other life threatening illness. In addition, several different types of cancer have been linked to an unhealthy lifestyle and diet.
Studies continue to show that people who choose to eat a diet based mainly on fast food are more susceptible to life threatening illness. Because of this, groups like the Cancer Council of Australia have become increasingly concerned about consumer education.
According to the post changes need to be made in order combat these disturbing consumer trends, like better educating the public about nutrition and food choices, as well as introducing new labelling on all fast food items to keep consumers informed about exactly what is contained in the food they’re eating.
The post goes on to state:
This labelling must detail kilojoule (energy content) for all food items. In the past, fast food products have not always been specifically labelled. In some cases, only certain items had the nutritional information detailed. However, Australian consumers need to know exactly what they are eating in every item that they order.
By being more educated on energy, the consumer can be more aware of steps they need to eat more healthily.
The Cancer Council has also decided to request food reformulation in several fast food chains because currently they are loaded with fats, salts, sugar and saturated fat which are all bad or your health. More of a problem than the content of these foods is the rate at which they are being consumed. People are risking their health when they eat too much fast food, loaded with these unhealthy ingredients. The Cancer Council believes that by implementing new regulations, designed to ensure that all of the foods served will contain less of these ingredients public health will be better protected.
The post went on to state:
More Australians are consuming fast foods than ever, and the obesity count is rising at an alarming rate. To ensure consumers understand their risk, the Cancer Council of Australia, along with other groups, is requiring that fast food restaurants make changes in their ingredients and their labelling. Through these changes, fast foods will be somewhat healthier and consumers will be able to actually see what they are eating before they place their order.