Fast food outlets in Victoria may have to offer a calorie count on their products under a state government plan to fight diabetes.
Victorian Premier John Brumby has ordered an inquiry into the effects of consuming fast food, the Herald Sun newspaper said.
He plans to introduce a program, similar to one in New York, that forces fast food vendors to have the calorie content of its food on meals, it said.
McDonald’s voluntarily provides such information.
Mr Brumby said: “Calorie disclosure at fast food stores is proving successful in other parts of the world, such as New York. The introduction of similar measures led to a huge increase in healthier food options at fast-food outlets”.
The Victorian government has already compelled fast food outlets in hospitals to provide a “traffic light” warning system for their foods, ranking fatty or sugary food in the red category and dictating such items should only make up one-fifth of the total menu choices.
Diabetes Australia says more than 200,000 Victorians have diabetes, with a further 250,000 set to develop the condition by 2025.
Source: Food Week Online, 22 February 2010, http://www.foodweek.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=53&ID=6592