Call to ban junk food items at supermarket checkouts.

Public health experts are calling for Australia’s supermarket giants to remove all junk food and soft drinks from their checkouts.

A study conducted by the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University has assessed the nutrition policies of Australia’s major supermarkets, finding they could be doing much more to encourage healthy eating.

“Unhealthy diets and obesity are leading contributors to poor health in Australia,” lead author Associate Professor Gary Sacks said.

“Tackling the issue requires a comprehensive societal response, including government policy and wide-scale action from the food industry, which includes our supermarkets.”

Researchers rated the policies of Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA out of 100 in the review which examined six key areas including nutrition labelling, promotion practices and product accessibility.

Woolworths ranked the highest, scoring 46 out of 100, while IGA scored just eight points.

“The supermarkets are quite vocal about being healthy places to shop but the reality is once you are in the store there is heaps of promotion of unhealthy food,” said Prof Sacks.

“The end-of-aisle displays are typically filled with unhealthy products, it’s just chocolate and soft drinks at the checkouts; so it’s just really hard to stick to a nice healthy basket of food when you are surrounded by all of that.”

“Several UK supermarkets have committed to provide healthy checkouts, with no chocolates, soft drinks or lollies on display,” said Prof Sacks.

Do you agree there needs to be better items available at the checkout?

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  • I’m happy to say NO for myself and my children – I don’t need government legislation to force me to do what is right for myself and my family. Stop giving up all your rights to others – you don’t know where it will end.


  • Yes I agree.


  • Some supermarkets have at least one checkout which has no food or drinks at the end of it at all. It is bad enough that people who have children with them when they are doing the shopping want to avoid the main aisles with those items in them without having to try to avoid them being seen at the checkouts. It is even more difficult if you have a young child who used to be eat the treats that can no longer hbave them because of diagnosed medical problems. Some are too young to really understand why they suddenly can’t have them. That is why some avoid taking children shopping, not just that they get “I want” regularly


  • This would be helpful – being nagged while you’re distracted by paying etc is particularly ard.


  • pffft I get my impulse chokkies in the lolly aisle, so much more to choose from. Quit the nanny state and let people decide for themselves

    • I do too! Nothing wrong with a supply of chocolate. :)


  • Maybe parents should parent their children and say no!


  • We do not get tempted as those items are always expensive anyway. Do we actually need any food or items at the checkouts?

    • Our trolley already has some of these so called tempting items in it long before we get to the checkout! :)


  • There should be less junk and processed food in supermarket catalogues too. Very few specials on fresh unseasoned, unprocessed meat or fresh fruit and vegetables.in any catalogues. The first few pages of the catalogues are usually packed with less than healthy items so your mind is focussed in that direction.


  • Yes, I think removing junk food completely from the checkouts would be a great move!!


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