Australia’s biggest fast-food chains have been ranked according to their nutrition policies in a first-of-its-kind study by Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre.
The report, Inside Our Quick Service Restaurants, ranked 11 of the country’s most popular fast-food chains – Subway, Nando’s, Domino’s, Grill’d, McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jacks, Red Rooster, Oporto and Chicken Treat – according to six categories in relation to healthy eating: corporate strategy, product information, nutrition labelling, promotion to children and adolescents, product accessibility and relationships with external groups. The study did not take into account the actual nutritional content of each chain’s menu items.
Domino’s Pizza fared the worst, with a score of just three out of a possible 100. Subway won first place, with a still-not-fantastic 48 out of 100.
“Unhealthy diets are creating a public health crisis in Australia,” report lead author associate professor Gary Sacks says in Deakin University’s press statement. “Every part of our community, including the fast food sector, needs to do their part in making the healhy choice the easy choice for all Australians.”
Sacks suggested changes like making “water and fruit or salad” the default option for kids’ meals, and specials that made healthier choices more affordable.
"The majority of items we see heavily promoted are unhealthy ones, like $1 frozen cokes, which clock in at more than 15 teaspoons of sugar, or two-for-one whoppers, which each contain a whopping 40 grams of fat," he said.
Smh.com.au reports that one of the fast-food chains reviewed in the study, Grill’d, is considering legal action in light of the report, which it calls “flawed, misleading and deceptive.” Grill’d scored just 10 out of 100.