Following in the footsteps of NSW, South Australia and the ACT, Queensland food retailers are now required to display the kilojoule content of their food and drinks at point of sale.

The Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 passed through parliament on 15 March, making it mandatory for food businesses to be transparent about the number of kilojoules in its menu items. The new laws apply to fast food chains, bakery chains, caf chains and supermarkets with at least 20 outlets in Queensland or 50 outlets nationwide.

Kilojoule counts must be displayed on in-store menus and labels, drive-through menus, online ordering sites and mobile apps, as well as printed menus distributed to households.

Businesses will have 12 months to comply with the new laws.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick, said “The reality is many of us rely on ready-to-eat meals and snacks from fast food outlets, cafes and grocery stores, to the point where one-third of all Queensland adults are eating takeaway food at least once a week.”

About 2.5 million adults and children in Queensland are overweight or obese, costing the state’s economy over $11 billion a year.

Legislation to require certain food outlets to display nutrition information first passed NSW parliament in late 2010, with the state’s regulations considered best practice around the country.

Just last month the Victorian government was urged to introduce mandatory kilojoule labelling, after a survey found seven out of nine major fast food chains didn’t provide enough nutritional information for consumers.

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