New South Wales does it, as does South Australia and the ACT. Queensland has just promised to jump onboard. So why has Victoria been left behind?
That’s the question the Heart Foundation is asking the Andrews Government over nutrition labelling of fast food menus – including that found in bakeries and cafés.
Heart Foundation Victoria chief executive Diana Heggie says it’s time the state caught up with its neighbours to help customers make better food choices.
“Victorians are eating out more than ever. If we’re serious about helping people make healthier choices, it’s time to get nutrition information on menus and run a consumer education campaign about what it means.”
Queensland will introduce a bill to mandate all fast food outlets, and bakery and café franchises display the nutritional value of their food and drinks. The former Brumby Government promised to introduce nutritional labelling but the proposal was dumped when the Baillieu Government came into power.
A spokeswoman for Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the government is considering “a range of policies designed to improve the health and wellbeing of Victorians”, and will look at what other Australian states have already done.
A spokesman from the Australian Food and Grocery Council said many food companies and chains had voluntarily introduced nutrition labelling, but that a nationally-consistent standard would be beneficial – a move that would be backed by the Obesity Policy Coalition, comprising the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia, VicHealth and Deakin University, which have all pledged their support behind labelling laws.