The availability and accessibility of nutrition information in fast food outlets in five states post-menu labelling legislation in New South Wales.Aust N Z J Public Health 2015; 39(6):546-9AN
1) Explore the availability and accessibility of fast food energy and nutrient information post-NSW menu labelling legislation in states with and without menu labelling legislation. 2) Determine whether availability and accessibility differed compared with pre-menu labelling legislation in NSW.
We visited 210 outlets of the five largest fast food chains in five Australian states to observe the availability and accessibility of energy and nutrient information. Results were compared with 197 outlets surveyed pre-menu labelling.
Most outlets (95%) provided energy values, half provided nutrient values and 3% provided information for all menu items. The total amount of information available increased post-NSW menu labelling implementation (473 versus 178 pre-implementation, p<0.001); however, fewer outlets provided nutrient values (26% versus 97% pre-implementation, p<0.001).
Fast food chains surveyed had voluntarily introduced menu labelling nationally. However, more nutrient information was available in-store in 2010, showing that fast food chains are able to provide comprehensive nutrition information, yet they have stopped doing so.
Menu labelling legislation should compel fast food chains to provide accessible nutrition information including nutrient values in addition to energy for all menu items in-store. Additionally, public education campaigns are needed to ensure customers can use menu labelling.