The decision by fast-food chain Burger King to display energy labels on menu boards on its restaurants throughout New Zealand has been heralded by dieticians as a step in the right direction – although they say much more can be done.
In reality, the move is only a small step towards addressing problems of obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes. But it is a significant one for a fast food chain to make, given the lucrative and highly competitive marketplace in which it operates.
The energy labels will display the total kilojoules per product and are designed, according to Burger King’s chief executive John Hunter, to help customers make informed choices.
It seems other fast food chains do not intend to do the same, saying they already have nutritional information on their websites – and many say they have developed healthier options for their customers.
I’d love it if others did follow suit, and cafes and restaurants also. In New York and DC almost every cafe has the calorie counts on the menus and blackboards, and it is great to be able to make a more informed decision when ordering.