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.
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